By. Kara Reese Pennella, Greene County Field Officer
On Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 7:30 pm the Greene County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing to amend the Greene County Code to include a section addressing animal noise. Although applicable to all animal noise the driving force behind the revision has been to control excessive barking.
The ordinance, as drafted, is a more restrictive version of Albemarle County’s animal noise ordinance. Albemarle’s ordinance restricts barking to the 30 minutes with no more than a 5 minute break in barking. The proposed Greene County version will only allow dogs to bark for 20 minutes with no more than a 5 minute break in barking before owners are subject to criminal penalties. The new ordinance will apply to all areas of the County except lots of 5 acres or more in C-1 or A-1 districts.
When Albemarle considered adopting a similar ordinance, Free Enterprise ForumPresident Neil Williamson questioned the wisdom in “abdicat[ing] all aspects of personal responsibility and creat[ing] an Orwellian world where the Board of Supervisors is empowered to legislate good neighborship?”
The Free Enterprise Forum wonders if Greene County should be so eager for follow Albemarle’s example. While Greene County is admittedly in transition from a rural county, one wonders “have we already progressed or regressed so much that the best solution for a bad neighbor is to slap them with criminal penalties?”