REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - Rehoboth Beach city council members passed a modified noise ordinance expanding the definition of noise as well as how noise violations can be measured.
Currently decibel meters measure how loud a business, rental house or an open space is in the city. Council members say the noise meters are at times limited in their use as a meter cannot be used in extreme temperatures, rain or windy conditions.
But now Rehoboth says it's enforcing a "plainly audible standard" in residential areas, which is defined as "a method used to identify a noise disturbance where a noise is plainly audible at a location not on the emitting property."
The new rules aims to curb late night disturbances from rental units that house 20 to 30 people.
Rehoboth homeowner Berdie Giattina likes the idea.
"I mean I think Dewey is fine. Dewey is the young people crowd, the party crowd, the group houses. I don't think [so] in Rehoboth. I don't want them next to me," said Mrs. Giattina.
But her husband Chuck feels differently.
"Well I like the din of a party. I like to hear the sound of merrymaking and singing and people having a good time. That's ok with me," said Mr. Giattina.
Michael Zeik owns a home in Rehoboth. He says the rule is overstepping.
"I think that's crazy," said Zeik.
"If now we're making the bar an audible bar, everybody's definition's different. We're going to close down the restaurants. We're going to close down the bars. We're going close down what makes this town so special," said Zeik.
Zeik says he's had to call the police for noise complaints before.
But he says most noise issues can be resolved simply by asking
"'We know you're on vacation. We want you to enjoy your vacation. But just try quieting it down because we go to work the next day and we're not on vacation. We just need to be able to get some sleep.' It's just the way you approach it," said Zeik.
The revised ordinance also outlines what is considered noise on commercial properties.
Another noise issue to be addressed at a later date is landscaping noise. Currently, outdoor appliances such as lawnmowers are permitted from 8am to 8pm, but council members plan to discuss amendments to that rule as well.