The Harrisonburg City Council may enact a Noise Ordinance on construction from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Imagine living next to a site where chain saws, jack hammers, pneumatic guns and rock drills (all 100+ decibels) operate 15 hours per day, seven days a week including holidays. That’s 105 hours per week. Hearing loss begins in a minute at these levels.

To the council’s credit, it studied jurisdictions surrounding Harrisonburg, and 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. was the norm.

Many comparable examples in Virginia, however, have more reasonable restricted hours: Fairfax (6 p.m.-7 a.m. weekdays); Blackburg (7 p.m.-7 a.m.); Portsmouth (6 p.m.-7 a.m.; Staunton: (6 p.m.-7 a.m.). The nation has many more examples.

For the residents of Harrisonburg, let’s tap the brakes and look closer at this ordinance’s impact on everyday family life. Let’s support Harrisonburg’s robust construction trades while protecting our existing citizens. Many other cities do.

Zack Germroth


(8) comments


I think the hours in this ordinance proposal are too broad / long. 8:00 am. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays is enough. 365 days a year is ridiculous. Taxpayers deserve some peace during the evenings and weekends.


Have you seen all the articles in recent years about the importance of sleep? If not, doing a web search for "importance of sleep" will provide information showing how vital sleep is to our health. 12 hours a day would be plenty of time for noisy activities. Some places limit it to 11 hours. Noise should stop by 7 or 8 pm.


There already is a noise ordinance......I am not sure of the night time max, but the morning time is 7:00 am. IMHO , this is too early to be starting loud construction (and other) noises.

Times that would seem proper would be restricting 8pm -8 am......or 9 pm- 8 am. This allows 12 (or 11) hrs to get loud outdoor work accomplished.


Whaler: What, you don't want the free market to take care of this? Say it ain't so.


Now you're embarrassing yourself.....

I didn't say they should not be able to work.....or say they had to wear certain equipment, or not use incandescent bulbs, or plastic straws. It is simply "outdoor NOISY work" that harms others at certain times.

Libertarians, and myself, do not say that there should be NO gov't and restrictions.

Mainly do no harm or force to others. After several days, to a week or two of little sleep, harm or force may be thrust upon noisy neighbors if they are not careful.

Big difference.

Respect for the local neighbors is one thing that has changed (for the worse) in the US over the last 40 years.

Mountain man

Families and older people are usually in bed by 10 pm. Earlier time frames such as 6 pm would be more reasonable and certainly not 7 days a week. Give us a break from the construction noise.


I couldn’t agree more with the writer. 10:00 pm every day, including holidays, is absurd. I have a young child who goes to bed at 8:30 pm. Luckily, I live in a county where construction noise ends at 7:00 pm, which is far more reasonable. I’m surprised 10:00 pm is considered acceptable anywhere in Virginia.

Mike Grundmann

Right on. 10 p.m. is way too late to allow such noise.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.