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Shhh! Cocoa Beach considers earlier quiet hours start time

Cocoa Beach Pier (file)
Leonard J. DeFrancisci
Wikimedia Commons
Cocoa Beach Pier (file)

Cocoa Beach commissioners are meeting Thursday to discuss a new possible noise ordinance for the community.

Cocoa Beach already has a noise ordinance in place that prohibits excessive noise, but the new ordinance would adjust the prohibitive hours to an earlier time.

The proposed ordinance will push the quiet period to the earlier time of 9:00 p.m. through 7:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. Currently, quiet is between 11 PM to 7 AM. That period will continue to be enforced over the weekend starting on Friday nights.

The possible measure comes after the city received numerous complaints from residents. According to a Spectrum News 13 article, the ordinance is being considered due to older residents taking issue with downtown businesses playing loud music at night.

The new ordinance would continue using the legal standard known as “plainly audible.”

Officers who can hear plainly audible noise 100 feet or more away from the property line of the source could ticket violators during quiet hours. Additionally, noise that is plainly audible 500 feet or more away from any property line of the source can also be ticketed between the hours of 7:01 a.m. and 10:59 p.m., on any day of the week.

Commissioners cite health concerns as being part of the reason for the ordinance's necessity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive noise experienced regularly — noise of 85 dB or more for 8 hours or longer — can not only damage hearing but also can bring on stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Cocoa Beach officials did include exceptions to excessive noise such as emergency generators, aircraft, construction machinery, and equipment, as well as various vehicles operated by the government.

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Joe Mario Pedersen