Highlights of the Proposed Burlington Noise Ordinance

The Burlington City Council will be voting on a new noise ordinance on February 18th at CIty Hall.

Among the highlight to the ordinance are the following:

“Parties and social events” have been defined.

“A party or other social event is defined as a gathering upon the premises of one or more persons not residing at the premises.” [Sec. 21-13 (b)2c].

Therefore, a party can be defined as two people.

The period that violations can occur in has increased from 12 to 24 months.

During the typical student’s entire off-campus stay, the violations will build on each other.

This, if passed, will take effect immediately and the new policies will build on old ones.

If a violation is committed 2 months ago (under old ordinance), then another is committed within 12 months, those in question will be dealing with the new resolution for both offenses.

Another difference is that these penalties will be given to all residents at any house listed on the lease, even if people are not present at the time of the incident.

Police can return to the house the next day if necessary to give tickets to all residents after getting names from a landlord.

Community service has become part of the punishment with the proposed noise ordinance.

The UVM Office of Judicial Affairs, as well as the Office for the Vice President of Students at Champlain College, have agreed to, in part, oversee the completion of community service hours.

Punishments are given here assuming there was a “party or other social events” (1 or more non-residents present):

The first offense is a civil violation with a minimum fine of $200, 12 hours of community service, and three hours with the restorative justice panel, to a maximum fine of $400 and 3 hours with the restorative justice process.

The second offense is a civil violation with a minimum fine of $300, 15 hours of community service, and 3 hours with the restorative justice process to a maximum fine of $500 and 3 hours with the restorative justice process.

The third offense, and any subsequent offenses, are criminal offenses with a $500.

To voice your concerns, attend City Council on Tuesday, February 18th at 7:00 pm.