Buzz continues over new sound ordinance in Jacksonville Beach

Change allows 'low volume sound' outdoors at businesses


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Jacksonville Beach police are working to clear up some confusion after the roll out of a pilot program to allow businesses to have low volume sound outdoors.

The City Council approved a new ordinance earlier this month to allow sound up to 75 decibels outdoors from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. if the business is approved for a permit through the city.

The ordinance is a one-year pilot program which will be reviewed next June.

Before, businesses were not allowed to have any sound outdoors, not even volume up on a television.

The program was met with support from residents and business owners, but some confusion let to a meeting Friday afternoon between the chief of police and some Jacksonville Beach business owners, Mayor Charlie Latham told News4Jax.

“I’m sure everyone will be comfortable after they chat with the chief,” Latham said.

He said the goal of the ordinance was to facilitate a compromise between residents in several single family homes, condominiums and residential towers, and nearby businesses.

He pointed out that businesses with a permit for outside music were grandfathered in to the ordinance and their permits remain in effect.

Latham said businesses don’t have to close their doors or windows, but that the noise level must be at 75 decibels or less at the property line.

As a point of reference, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires hearing protection for 85 decibels and above, Latham said.

“So that’s pretty loud,” he added.