2023 Noise Ordinance Update

Barrington voters adopted a noise ordinance in 2001 pursuant to RSA 31:39.  It was amended by the Select Board in 2016 and 2017, but those amendments were never adopted by Town Meeting.  In 2022, the Select Board, Town Administrator, and Police Chief worked on a proposal to ratify the 2016 and 2017 amendments into an enforceable noise ordinance.  

Noise ordinances per RSA 31:39 are adopted and amended by Town Meeting.  The Select Board cannot amend them unless Town meeting grants such authority (which was not done in 2001).  The previously adopted amendments should not be applied as they were not legally adopted.

2023 Warrant Article 27: Noise Ordinance 

To see if the Town will repeal the existing noise ordinance and adopt in its place a new noise ordinance pursuant to RSA 31:39, which prohibits certain loud noises likely to endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace, or safety of others between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM.  Several types of noises, including but not limited to, fireworks from July 1 through July 6 each year, are exempted from the ordinance, and the Police Chief shall have the authority to issue a temporary special permit for other types of noises.  Violations of the ordinance will result in penalties ranging from $50 to $250, depending on the number of convictions in any six-month period.  [Majority Vote Required].

This article is recommended for approval by the Select Board 5-0.

Proposed Noise Ordinance

2001 Warrant Article

Are you in favor of adoption of a Noise Ordinance for the town that would prohibit the making of noise in excess of 60 decibels from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am and 75 decibels from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm as measured at the property line, or any public right of way, provide for waivers to be issued for special circumstances, and impose a penalty of up to $1,000 for each offense.

In 2016, the Select Board amended the ordinance at a public hearing. 

2016 Amendment 

Chairman O’Brien opened the public hearing on an amendment to the Noise Ordinance at 6:33 p.m. The proposed amendment to the Ordinance was sent to the attorney’s office for review and he had several recommendations. It was suggested to remove section #4 – “music or sounds”. Selectman Knapp felt that section was overly vague and ambiguous. There was no public comment. Selectman Knapp moved to amend the Noise Ordinance by removing section #4, seconded by Selectman Ayer. It was unanimously voted in the affirmative. The public hearing closed at 6:33 p.m.

In 2017, the Select Board amended the ordinance at a regular meeting, no hearing.

2017 Amendment

Selectman Bailey would like to amend the current Noise Ordinance to allow fireworks from July 1st – July 4th instead of just July 4th. Chairman O’Brien has a question as to who is going to enforce this ordinance. Selectman Hatch moved to allow fireworks to be displayed from July 1st – July 6th and to add #10 “The Town Administrator may delegate to the Police Chief”, seconded by Selectman Bailey. It was unanimously voted in the affirmative.