Housing Complex

ANCs Had Nothing to Say On New Noise Ordinances

Perhaps more than anything else, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions like to weigh in on things. Especially things having to do with direct regulation of how citizens may behave in public, like drinking, yelling, and generally conducting themselves outside the bounds of strict propriety.

So it was surprising to read the committee print on the revised Disorderly Conduct statute that went into effect last Friday, which it doesn't look like people had expected, judging from the blog coverage. The relatively brief new law, which replaces some regulations that were over a century old, places new prohibitions on things like public urination, "jostling or unnecessarily crowding" a person, or "placing a hand in the proximity of such person's handbag, pocketbook, or wallet." Perhaps the most eye-catching line was the one that makes it "unlawful for a person to make an unreasonably loud noise between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to annoy or disturb one or more other persons in their residences." Which is, of course, incredibly vague and subject to abuse.

In the public testimony section of the committee's report, it notes that it received "no testimony or comments from Advisory Neighborhood Commissions." This doesn't mean there was no public process; various task forces and advocacy groups and government agencies weighed in. But the elected microgovernments had nothing formal to submit–perhaps because ANCs represent the interests of longer-term residents, rather than the younger or less established residents who tend to be the ones making a racket at godawful hours of the night.

  • Rick Mangus

    This is great proposal, now if we can get the city council members to grow some balls and also put in place a anti-loitering law, then there is hope for this city!

  • Southeast Ken

    @Rick; I agree with you. Also, the DC Council need to have the courage to address illegal immigration and overcrowded apartment buildings.

...