On Tuesday, they stopped the noise. Commissioner Eric Colvin (R) made a motion to cancel the noise ordinance public hearing that was scheduled for Dec. 3, with Commissioner John O’ Connor (R) seconding it.
At the Nov. 5 commissioners meeting, Bill Hunt, director of the department of land and use management for the county, had reviewed noise data gathered from several sites throughout a six-month investigation in a response to complaints.
During the investigation, the department explored several complaints through site visits and found four separate instances where the noise being made exceeded the maximum decibels that are allowed to be heard on a receiving residential property, set by Maryland’s noise standards adopted in 2012.
During that meeting, three of the five commissioners voted to authorize the department to schedule a public hearing on the proposed noise ordinance, with Commissioner President Randy Guy (R) voting against it and O’Connor not present to vote.
Colvin said that he had concerns about the ordinance after his first read.
“The more citizens heard about it, the more it became evident that is it not what they want,” he said.
The noise complaints are legitimate and the commissioners will probably speak with different departments to make sure everyone is enjoying a high quality of life, Colvin said.
According to O’Connor, his reason for wanting to get rid of the ordinance was that he believed it did not represent St. Mary’s County, but rather the small handful of people that made the complaints.
“This is a rural county. We hunt, we shoot, we have [Maryland International Raceway]. … the ordinance would have affected more people negatively than positively,” he said in a phone interview, adding, “when we make a decision, it is for the majority.” The “ordinance is dead, and this is a massive win for St. Mary’s County,” O’Connor said.