Loudoun County seeks to change ‘reasonable person’ standard for noise

WASHINGTON — Loudoun County is proposing changes to its noise standards in order to accommodate a Virginia Supreme Court ruling that the “reasonable person” standard is too vague for noise violations in the Commonwealth.

Under proposed rules, Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies will follow new guidelines when deciding whether loud music and barking dogs are loud enough to warrant taking action.

The definition of how noise is measured will be based on what is “audible and discernible” versus “reasonable” under the new rules.

The proposed noise standard changes would impact both the county code covering residences and zoning rules that apply to businesses.

“It actually enhances both of them and brings them up to current standards,” said Ricky Barker, Loudoun County’s planning and zoning director.

A public hearing is scheduled for July 13.

Changes to Fairfax County’s noise regulations took effect earlier this year.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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