The Norco City Council earlier this month approved a pair of new ordinances aimed at curbing noise disturbances in the city and better serving residents who own fowl.

The noise ordinance was amended to allow citations to be issued regardless of whether an officer has a decibel meter on them, provide a more definitive standard of what constitutes a “new and separate” violation and create an updated fine schedule that resets on an annual basis.

“Citations can be written every five minutes,” City Attorney Colin Burns said. “So officers can go out [every five minutes] until they finally shut down the noise.”

Alternatively, Burns said if the responsible party shuts down the noise and then turns it back on, Burns said that would also count as a new and separate violation. The first violation within a one-year period carries a fine of up to $100. The second violation within that year carries a fine of up to $200. And every subsequent violation within that year carries with it a fine of up to $500.

In the initial presentation of the ordinance, there was also a section where residents cited for noise violations could appeal their citation to the city manager, instead of through the hearing process, that was removed at the suggestion of Councilmember Robin Grundmeyer.

“You’re making a decision to violate the code, and so I just don’t think this should be an option,” she said. “Because I do feel like those would be the folks that come in…and come give some sob story to the city manager, which again, is a waste of time and resources.”

The ordinance regarding animals running at large was amended to exclude fowl/poultry from enforcement of the ordinance, instead leaving it up to the discretion of community members to decide how to handle it when fowl/poultry come onto their property.

“The goal of this discussion was to analyze the code and make sure it clearly reflects the spirit and intent and the expectation of city council to protect and preserve the lifestyle in Norco,” Animal Control Services Superintendent Melvin Sparks said.

The council first voted to make changes to the ordinance earlier this year in hopes of allowing enforcement officers to focus on violations of state law and issues of animal welfare instead of fowl/poultry that happened to get loose from their owner’s property.

Both ordinances were adopted unanimously, but will come back to the council for a second reading and final approval at a future council meeting. The amended ordinances will go into effect 30 days after final adoption.

In other council action: The Norco City Council also approved an ordinance limiting construction within the city between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Construction is not allowed on Sundays or federal holidays with exceptions for emergencies.

A full recording of the meeting can be found here on the city’s YouTube channel.

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Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.