Updates to County's Noise Ordinance
April 20, 2023
Board votes to initiate updates to the County’s noise ordinance
The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to initiate amendments to the County’s noise ordinance in response to community concerns about enforcement of the existing ordinance, particularly by operators of Ranchos in the Coachella Valley.
The Board directed the Planning Department to analyze different ways to measure and regulate noise and bring back recommended ordinance changes.
Community members who would like to comment on amending the noise ordinance are encouraged to contact the Riverside County Planning Department at Planning@rivco.org. Residents are also encouraged to subscribe to the Planning Department newsletter for updates on their website at https://planning.rctlma.org/.
“I do look forward to meeting with folks in our communities to really discuss what an ordinance will look like from the ground up not from the top down. That’s what I’m hoping for,” Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said during the Board meeting. “Mind you, this is an ordinance that’s countywide and even though we have our struggles in the eastern Coachella, there are other struggles in the Fifth District … in the Third District, in the Second District, in the First District, so whatever we come up with needs to have some sort of balance.”
The Board will also be looking to create a clear and effective noise ordinance that preserves the opportunity for nighttime events while also balancing the public’s right to peaceful enjoyment of their property. Specifically, the amended ordinance will establish regulations that will fairly enforce a noise ordinance that relies on sound level readings; appropriate sound level standards for the County’s variety of communities; and special circumstances and special requirements for events.
In March, Perez directed the Planning Department to create a new County ordinance that could be a first of its kind in establishing a new land-use category for Ranchos in the Coachella Valley.
Ranchos are large agricultural properties, date palm ranches, which include a primary residence. The properties are used by families to hold birthday parties, quinceañeras, weddings, baptisms, and other family and cultural celebrations.
The County is preparing a draft ordinance that would define Ranchos, where these are located within the Fourth District, and determine what types of activities would be allowed, to give more options beyond those that exist in the countywide temporary events and zoning ordinances.
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