• Hendricks County Commissioners continue debate over noise, canvassing ordinances

    July 29, 2011 No comments

    Hendricks County Commissioners continue to deliberate over proposed ordinances regulating noise and direct sellers outside corporate limits.

    The story in today’s Hendricks County Flyer states that Sheriff David Galloway originally asked the board in May to establish such laws, saying his department was receiving an increasing number of complaints on both.

    Under the proposed canvassing ordinance, solicitors would have to buy a permit at either $20 per day, $50 per week, or $100 per month. They also couldn’t sell door to door between the hours of 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. Political and religious canvassers would be exempt, as would companies with established customers like Schwan’s.

    While the canvassing ordinance seems to be rather straightforward, the proposed noise ordinance still has many questions that need to be answered.

    Lori Lovely raises livestock on a Brownsburg farm with her husband. She asked the commissioners during Tuesday’s public hearing how the proposed noise ordinance may affect her farm. She’s dealt with a neighbor who complains about her dogs, which are trained to guard her livestock from predators.

    Hendricks County legal counsel Greg Steuerwald said there’s a customary noise level in many industries, including farming.

    Nick Schmutte, an Avon resident, inquired about the regulation of gunfire and fireworks. He has a neighbor who routinely shoots guns on his own property, despite living in close proximity to others.

    Galloway says firing guns on private property is controlled by state statute. Other than shooting across public thoroughfares and firing in the air, it’s perfectly legal. But the proposed ordinance would at least mandate what time of day weapons and fireworks could be shot.

    Commission President Eric Wathen had his own concerns. He noted a provision in the proposed law that would cite motor vehicles being audible from at least 30 feet away.

    Wathen noted that the ordinance as written would affect,”any Harley-Davidson on the road and half the trucks in the county. I don’t think the sheriff wants to pull over every Harley.”

    He also pointed out that under the ordinance ice cream trucks would break the law every time they played music. His trepidation to enacting such regulations mainly stems from the fact that the actions of only a few are prompting all of this.

    Galloway assured the commissioners that his department doesn’t cite or take any legal action against residents unless they’re serial offenders.

    Both the canvassing and noise ordinances have been tabled while Steuerwald makes additional revisions. The public will be able to peruse both proposed mandates beginning next week at the commissioners’ office in the Hendricks County Government Center, 355 S. Washington St., Danville, or by e-mailing Judy Wyeth at jwyeth@co.hendricks.in.us.


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