Citrus County commissioners in June promised Homosassa residents a noise ordinance to combat rowdy boaters.
On Tuesday, they’ll decide exactly what that is — and isn’t.
Citrus County officials learned a state law prohibits them from enacting any specific restriction on the water related to noise except for one: 90 decibels at 50 feet, according to the agenda for Tuesday, July 27, meeting.
They’re also relying on a 2005 attorney general’s opinion from, coincidentally, a Citrus County case in relation to a proposed noise ordinance to combat nighttime airboats that was more restrictive than the statutory limit.
County commissioners, after hearing from Homosassa residents who say the head springs and adjacent canals are clogged with loud boaters, said they wanted to consider an ordinance restricting noise in that area.
County Attorney Denise Dymond Lyn, in an agenda memo, says state law restricts counties to the one specific noise regulation of no more than 60 decibels at 50 feet. The proposed ordinance reflects that, along with a second-degree misdemeanor for anyone who refuses to submit to a sound detector test by a law enforcement officer.
The opinion from then-Attorney General Charlie Crist states that, other than the specific statute regarding noise, regulations are authorized “only for the purposes of protecting human life and limb, vessel traffic safety and maritime property, and manatees.”
The noise ordinance isn’t the only water-related item on Tuesday’s agenda. Commissioner Holly Davis is asking the board to choose one of three options provided by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office for additional marine patrol units.
Tuesday’s board meeting begins at 1 p.m. at the county courthouse, 110 N. Apopka Ave., Inverness. The agenda includes:
• Follow up direction from the board’s workshop on people living in RVs on vacant land. Commissioners discussed requiring anyone living in an RV while their house is being built that they be hooked up to water, sewer and electricity.
• 2:15 p.m. public hearing on the solid waste assessment, which is proposed to increase from $25 to $27 a year for homeowners.
• Chairman Scott Carnahan is asking for discussion and a vote on the funding sources for development of the Inverness Airport business park.