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Livingston proposes changes to its noise ordinance

A proposed amendment to Livingston’s noise ordinance is riling some residents of this sedate community on the banks of the Yellowstone River.

Livingston’s City Manager Grant Gager says the amendments address shortcomings in the city’s existing noise ordinance.

“We could add some specificity and just make it clear for both residents and enforcement personnel,” Gager says.

Online and in public comments, residents fret about everything from mowing summer lawns and football games to fireworks displays and the Roundup Rodeo celebrating its 100th anniversary this July.

“I genuinely believe that ordinary citizens in Livingston will very likely not be impacted by this change of ordinance whatsoever,” Gager says.

The noise ordinance would ban noise pollution after 8 p.m., increase penalties for infractors, and specify various decibel levels for noisome activities like vehicle horns; train whistles and bells; radios and speakers; animals; exhaust; construction; and special community events.

The proposed ordinance specifies many exemptions, including safety and warning signals and permitted events like fireworks displays, concerts, and sports.

City employees using decibel meters would take noise readings at property lines in the event of complaints.

The City Commission conducted a first reading of Ordinance 3051 earlier this month. The ordinance is effective 30 days after its second reading February 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the City/County Complex.

Sarah Kanter Brown is the producer of YPR’s Field Days. A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, Brown has worked at newspapers and magazines nationwide.