Streetsboro targets repeat noise offenders with possible jail time

Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Streetsboro City Council on Jan. 9 put some teeth into its noise ordinance, adding significant fines and possible jail time.

The ordinance affects horns and signal devices, radios and stereo musical instruments, loud noises or disturbances, animal noises, whistles or sirens, engine exhaust, noisy advertising, noisy machinery, and noise-producing instruments.

As with the city’s previous noise ordinance, anyone convicted of producing too much noise will face minor misdemeanor charges, which carry fines of up to $150 and possible community service. 

If the offenders don’t “use their inside voices” after a reasonable warning or request to desist, the ante increases to a fourth-degree misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail.

“Courts never do that. It’s unlikely that a person’s going to get penalized out of noise unless they’re persistent,” Streetsboro Law Director Frank Beni said. “Normally, police just give a warning. They don’t want to issue citations, but there are people who persist.”

That persistence — one Streetsboro resident is now facing his seventh noise violation in a single year — prompted city council to add additional consequences: If, within a year, an already-convicted person gets a third violation, that person will face unclassified misdemeanor charges with a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 60 days in jail.

In 2019, Streetsboro police charged two people with noise violations. The year 2020 saw one person charged, and no one was charged in 2021. The individual with the seven violations received them all in 2022, Streetsboro police said.

“It’s not aimed at the kid playing music. That’s not their intent,” Beni said. “In the event there’s a repeat offender, they have some kind of leverage.”

The new regulations will take effect 30 days after Mayor Glenn Broska signs the legislation, which he did last week.

+ posts

Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.