The Wrangell Assembly is considering tougher laws to quiet all the noise in town.
Wrangell has a boatyard and plenty of handy-men. So all that noise in town, sounds like power tools, metal on metal, maybe some swearing.
And the noise can come from industrial sites or people’s front yards. Maybe you can’t even escape it in your own home. And that’s why the city is considering enforcing noise complaints more seriously.
Local Scott Eastaugh doesn’t like the sound of that. He’s constantly working in his shop.
“I’m young. I’m industrious. I think that’s good, that’s the sound of progress,” said Eastaugh.
Eastaugh has received noise complaints from his neighbor Haig Demerjian. Demerjian has been a proponent of noise guidelines and helped get the proposed regulations through the local planning and zoning committee.
“I’m an Alaskan. I like to do what I want to do, but I do have some concern for other people,” said Eastaugh.
We’re all Alaskans here. So, are you entitled to a quiet abode by the ocean, away from the bustle of a roaring city? Or are you free to hack and saw away at any hunk of metal until you’re ears are ringing?
The assembly sees both sides. Mayor Steve Prysunka wished residents could have “decency” towards each other. But if not, noise regulation may be needed.
“I appreciate that this is America, and you should be able to do whatever you want in your own yard. But, if what you’re doing in your own yard bleeds out to the next person’s yard, they have rights too. It’s their America as well,” Prysunka said.
A set of ordinances sets a lot of stipulations and exemptions. It considers industrial versus residential areas, the time of day, what kind of tools are being used, and the nature of the work. For instance, Some leniency is given to those working on their personal boat. The first noise offense would result in a $50 fine. Then a $75 fine, a $150 fine, and then a court appearance with a $300 to $500 fine.
The assembly says the code language is messy, and can’t be approved as is. But the assembly passed a first reading of the code, with the condition that the language be cleaned up and add some leniency in some instances. Demerjian even said the code isn’t workable right now.
The updated ordinances will be brought to the assembly again at the March 12th meeting. They could be adopted then.
The ordinances are available online. Scroll to sections 13a, 13b and 13c.