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Amend the Noise Ordinance

This petition had 1,099 supporters

The City of Williamsburg’s Noise Ordinance unreasonably restricts the freedoms of residents, imposes excessive legal penalties and costs, and undermines efforts to foster co-existence in Williamsburg by exacerbating tensions between student residents and the City. It is an outdated and unnecessarily strict law that disproportionately impacts students. Almost 80 % of the noise violations issued in the past three years have gone to William & Mary students. A quarter of these students were on the Dean’s List. Your signature below represents one of many student voices which will be directly presented to our elected representatives in City Council at their February 12th meeting.

We, the student residents of Williamsburg, Virginia, who constitute over 50% of the City’s population, ask that City Council amend the noise ordinance to more reasonably accommodate the lifestyles of all residents. This should be done while also respecting the rights of all residents to be free from unreasonable noise disturbances. We ask that City Council pass the following amendments to the noise ordinance:

- Require that an official complaint be filed in order to issue a noise violation

 - Reduce a noise violation’s misdemeanor from class 1 to class 4, the least severe class**

- Reduce the fine to $250, consistent with the legal maximum for a class 4 misdemeanor

- Increase the limit of allowable decibels outdoors after 11:00 PM to 75db

 - Increase the distance at which officer discretion can unilaterally merit a violation, in regards to section 12-73(C)(2)


** Clarification: The third noise violation in a 12 month period is penalized with a Class 1 misdemeanor. The first two violations constitute a class 2 misdemeanor. 

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