Nuisance ordinance, Little Free Library passed during meeting - Star Local: News

Nuisance ordinance, Little Free Library passed during meeting

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Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013 12:00 am

Residents might want to turn down the radio to hear this bit of news, or it might cost them $500.

For the last year, Sunnyvale administrators have been working to normalize some of the town's older ordinances. During Monday, March 25's Sunnyvale Town Council meeting, the council updated the noise nuisance ordinance.

The new ordinance sets out specific definitions and decibel markers for sustained noises, 65 decibels for longer than 10 minutes, as punishable by a fine of $500. Town administration said that the new ordinance falls in line with many of the cities around them, except for Mesquite which has a lower decibel standard.

"The advantage of the ordinance is that it provides an objective standard," said interim Town Manager Dan Savage.

Now, sheriffs armed with sound decibel scanners will be able to have more concrete evidence against violators, although Steve Gilbert, Sunnyvale's director of community development, said there are few occurrences where the ordinance needs to be enforced. He said most violations come from construction and the occasional dog that barks too long.

Little Free Library

With the added quiet from the noise ordinance, residents will soon be able to enjoy some outside reading, as the Sunnyvale Public Library requested permission from the council to install a Little Free Library in the Town Center Park.

The council passed the request with a 5-0 vote and now need to figure out a way to mount the box that will hold 35-plus books for residents to freely take, as long as they drop off one in return.

Doris Padgett, library director, said they got the idea after seeing a story about a woman in Fort Worth who put up her own Little Free Library. The Sunnyvale library was able to get a resident to build a Little Free Library, and officials are ready to post it as soon as they figure out where to place it in the park and how to do so.

"All we lack now is a post to place it on," Padgett said. "We feel it is ideal in the park. It is public access with places for people to sit and read."

Little Free Libraries are popping up all over the nation as a way to get books into the hands of all who want to read something new. Vandalism was the issue the council felt would be an issue, as well as what type of material will be placed in the library. Padgett said it will be a variety of children's to adult books.

Little Free Library's website said the best way to ovoid vandalism is to keep the box maintained and have someone regularly monitor what goes in and out of the library.

The town council also accepted the financial audit report for 2012 and approved options for bond refinancing set to parameter conditions approved by the council.

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