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Posted on: September 11, 2023

Stronger Ordinance Will Reduce Downtown Noise

Two men driving in a convertible

After receiving ongoing public complaints about excessive noise downtown, City Council voted to approve revisions to its noise ordinance, giving police additional tools to enforce a quieter downtown experience for all.

The changes came after consultants completed a comprehensive noise study, focusing mostly on the central business district. A second and final vote was taken by Council on Monday, Sept. 25.

“Greenville thrives because of outdoor experiences. Residents and visitors enjoy dining and walking along Main Street,” said Mayor Knox White. “I regularly receive messages and comments regarding noise and how disruptive it is. I hope this stricter ordinance sends a clear message that we’re serious about reducing noise and committed to a calm, peaceful downtown environment.”

The ordinance states that if “noise substantially interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of persons of ordinary sensibilities,” then a violation has occurred.

The noise ordinance now will:

  • Reduce the distance at which decibels are measured from 25 to three feet from the sound source in the central business district; and from 100 to 10 feet in areas outside the central business district. 
  • Give police discretion as whether to issue a warning or a citation immediately, if the circumstances warrant it. Additionally, a citizen report is not required to write a citation. 
  • Require a minimum of $100 for any violation and potential maximum of $500.  When court costs and fees are assessed, a fine of $500 requires a total payment of $1087.  

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