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Noisy Parties The Target Of Ordinance Passed Tuesday By the Baltimore County Council

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government
Baltimore County Council Credit: Baltimore County

The Baltimore County Council approved Tuesday night expanding a pilot noise ordinance countywide that currently targets rowdy college students living near UMBC and Towson University.

The ordinance will give a police officer, who might not want to criminally charge someone for throwing a noisy party the authority to instead issue a civil citation.

“This program has been very successful in the areas where it’s been implemented over the past five years,” said bill sponsor Republican David Marks, who represents Towson.

At a public hearing last week, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said the program in Towson has cut down on noise complaints.

Shellenberger asked the council then, “If it works in Towson, why can’t it work in the entire county?”

The first violation of the ordinance could mean a $500 fine. The cost escalates for subsequent violations. If a tenant gets a citation, the landlord is notified, then the landlord also can be cited if there is another offense. A judge also can order a repeat offender to perform community service.

Marks first proposed the pilot program in 2016.

The countywide ordinance takes effect July 21.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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