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Is it legal in New Hanover County for a ice cream vendor to blare loud music that can be heard for long distances?

Katie Coleman
StarNews

A line of customers wait outside of Rob Parrish's ice cream truck in Southport. StarNews file photo.

All residents of New Hanover County, whether tenants or land owners, who reside in neighborhoods zoned for residential purposes, are prohibited from engaging in any activity producing noise in excess of 65 decibels in daytime and 50 decibels from 10 p.m. through 7 a.m. Citations for violations might be issued upon findings of loud and offensive noises even when the precise noise level is not measured.

The county ordinance can be viewed here.

The City of Wilmington has a similar ordinance whereby all persons in residential areas are prohibited from engaging in any activity producing noise in excess of 65 decibels in the daytime (between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., or midnight on Friday and Saturday) and 55 decibels in the nighttime between 11 p.m. (midnight on Friday and Saturday) and 7 a.m. Repeated violations of the city’s noise ordinance may subject offenders to a penalty of up to $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail.

The city ordinance can be viewed at http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/.

There is not a specific ordinance pertaining to ice cream trucks. Cpl. Kevin Smith from the Wilmington Police Department said that if the disturbance falls within the time frame outlined in the ordinance, then that ordinance applies.

He suggested contacting the company running the truck and report the disturbance, or talk to the individual vendor. If the truck is running after hours, the ice cream truck is in violation of the city ordinance, and it can be cited and/or charged with a violation. If in city limits, contact 911 to report the disturbance.

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Can a person filing a noise complaint remain anonymous?  

User-contributed question by:
Jim Crawford

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One Response to “ Is it legal in New Hanover County for a ice cream vendor to blare loud music that can be heard for long distances?”

  1. On June 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm Scotto wrote:

    I love hearing the music from the ice cream truck. It reminds me of my childhood and puts a smile on my face.