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Atlanta councilman: Repeal "fraud" noise ordinance

ATLANTA -- An Atlanta city councilman says it’s time to repeal the city’s noise ordinance. Howard Shook says the ordinance is unenforceable. "It’s never enforced. It’s meaningless. It’s a fraud. It’s existence frustrates people," Shook said Wednesday.

It exists in code section 74-136. It details time limits of noise; and decibel limits of noise in excess of the background sound level, with daytime hour levels that are different from nighttime hours or nighttime hours in residential areas or industrial areas.

With each detail, there’s apparently a potential legal loophole. And then there are areas where nightclubs mix it up with residential areas.

"It begs the question. How does an establishment generate hundreds of complaints with zero citations being issued?" Shook asked, referring to a specific Buckhead nightclub he declined to identify because he says others have similar records.

Shook says the noise ordinance that he helped write years ago has generated waves of law enforcement indifference – to the point where Shook says he wants to simply repeal it.

"Nothing ever happens. I’ve been there sixteen years. I just don’t see the citations ever being issued!" Shook said.

Shook says Atlanta police apparently have other priorities. Yet he notes other jurisdictions manage to enforce their noise ordinances – and says yet another rewrite in Atlanta sounds good to him.

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