Howland noise law discriminates


The way the Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United is the way noise ordinances should be banned. It is simple, the Supreme Court says that money is speech and you cannot limit speech. They also put in the terms of volume the more money you have, the more you can drown out someone else’s speech. The court said the government cannot limit this so since you cannot limit volume of speech with money, you then certainly cannot limit actual volume. Especially when it comes to music because music is without a doubt a form of speech.

It’s time to address certain local laws here in Trumbull County that are designed to shut down long-standing businesses because “some” people do not like it.

A recent law passed by Howland states that you cannot have sound or noise be heard from within 100 feet of an establishment. There are no decibel levels in this law just plain audible and personal judgment. After confronting two officers at Leon’s Sports Bar on Route 46, one simply said it was designed for this bar. My question is why?

Normal traffic sounds are heard more than 100 feet from the road so why not start ticketing every car going down this neighborhood as well? I work at a plant in Howland and believe me you can hear the sounds from this plant well past 100 feet. Why not shut this business down for noise?

The fact of the matter is there is always someone who doesn’t like some kind of music. If you move next to a club that has been there for decades then you should know what you are getting into when you get there.

I suspect that the new development area next to the bar is partly behind this new ordinance because there are a lot more houses or condos to build there and a lot of people won’t want to move there because there is the club. This is a problem at many clubs these days. It is also strange that these clubs are located in commercial and sometimes industrial zoned areas yet they are being made to adhere to residential noise laws or in this case, laws crafted specifically at them.

Leif P. Damstoft