Sound measurement and enforcement in Queen Anne’s County

A joint effort between the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office and the Queen Anne’s County Zoning Office has begun random sound level tests at various establishments in the county.

On Friday night using the county’s new Precision Sound Level Meter, Sgt. Earl “”Duke”” Johnston of the Sheriff’s Office began to check sound level tests at several businesses located in the Kent Narrows and Centreville areas, where several complaints have been received in the past. Witnessing Johnston conducting the sound tests was Sheriff R. Gery Hofmann and Commissioner Gene Ransom. “”We want Queen Anne’s County to stay a great place to live. This program will promote the quiet enjoyment of property in Queen Anne’s and enable enforcement of the State law”” said Commissioner Gene Ransom.

The Maryland COMAR Regulations allows for 65 audible decibels during the hours of 0700 to 2200. After 2200 hours to 0700 hours the decibel level is reduced to 55 DBA. At 2123 hours, Red Eyes Dock Bar was checked and three readings were recorded varying from 58 to 62 DBA. Doc’s in Centreville was checked at 2230 Hours and indicated a reading of 47 DBA. Johnston then returned to Kent Narrows and tested The Jetty from two locations in Oyster Cove development. The results showed readings of 55 and 51 DBA at 2325 hours.

None of the sound levels documented were a violation of the COMAR regulations. Sgt. Johnston is one of two Deputy Sheriffs to be trained in use of the device along with an employee of the County Zoning Office. In order to properly use the device, a four hour course on operation, testing and calibration had to be completed. Sheriff Hofmann commented “”that with this device the Sheriff’s Office will be able to provide an improved response to residents’ noise complaints””.

Other than the initial cost of the meter, no additional staffing was needed as both offices are using current staff to conduct the tests. Commissioner Ransom stated “”the fact this program is being enhanced without additional funds is essential in these difficult fiscal times.””