January 1, 2008
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Christiansburg, Virginia has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for having a vague and unenforceable noise ordinance, with minimal penalties. Residents of Christiansburg are subjected to incessant noise from loud car stereos, bulldozers, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers.
Christian Trejbal, an editorial writer with The Roanoke Times, noted that “Christiansburg residents might want to invest in some earplugs. Town leaders have little interest in keeping things quiet.” He reported that the Christiansburg town council recently “unanimously decided Christiansburg does not need a noise ordinance. The current ill-defined, subjective injunctions are plenty, council members and planning commissioners figure.”
Trejbal observed that in Christiansburg, “lawn mowers running at all hours, construction at the crack of down, and blaring music are all legal, depending on who you ask. Most localities in the region have detailed rules when someone needs to turn down the volume. They restrict hours for loud noises and quantify what decibels are too loud or or what distances noise should be inaudible. Not Christiansburg.”
Christiansburg native Mike Smith refuses to shop there anymore “because of the onslaught of noise that goes unchallenged by law enforcement. Boom cars are worse in Christiansburg than in most larger cities.” Smith, who now lives in Pulaski, commented that “Christiansburg is a prime example of a municipality that cherishes economic growth over the audible outcry of its citizenry for peace and quiet. Town officials blatantly ignore ongoing requests for new, enforceable noise ordinances. They are sold on the idea that a vague, decades-old nuisance law can combat modern-day noise, regardless of its source. An ongoing demand for quiet from the citizenry demonstrates that town officials are misguided.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, stated that “the position of Christianburg city officials is absurd. Every municipality needs a strong, detailed, enforceable noise ordinance, with stiff penalties. Silence is golden. But apparently not in Christiansburg.”
Christian Trejbal concluded, “Only the most radical mufflers want complete silence. Most people just don’t want stereos and lawn mowers waking them up at unreasonable hours. They want to be able to sip coffee and watch the sunrise without the repair shop down the street revving engines and changing tools. They want to be able to enjoy a peaceful night without revelers next door screaming into the dark.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization devoted to opposing noise pollution. Its web site is www.noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Pioneer Electronics, Echo Manufacturing, and Congressman Darrell Issa.