Ocean City Noise Ordinance Put On Hold - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Ocean City Noise Ordinance Put On Hold

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - Lawrence Perez is in Ocean City on vacation with his family, and while most people are out on the beach, he's on the boardwalk, playing his guitar.
   
"People in life should have a right to perform music in public," says Lawrence.

Last year, the town of Ocean City passed an ordinance limiting the distance in which music can be heard-- to just 30 feet from the source.

A violinist from Baltimore challenged that law, suing Ocean City, claiming it violated his right to free speech.

This week, a U.S. District Court Judged granted a preliminary injunction, putting the ordinance on hold.
     
One visitor to the beach says, "it's Ocean City, during the day, the sun's out.  Everyone is out, so what's it matter?"

While boardwalk musicians may be at the center of this issue, ocean city mayor Rick Meehan says that the 30 foot noise ordinance was initially meant for businesses...trying to stop them from playing loud music to compete for customers.  Folks here on the boardwalk though, think that everyone should be held to the same standard.

Liz, vacationing in Ocean City from Baltimore says "the tenants pay rent. So, if they're limited on the amount of noise they make to attract customers to defray overhead, then I think the street performers who don't pay rent 12:46:22 46:25 should be subject to the same rules."

For now, musicians and businesses on the boardwalk can play their music as loud as they want.

The judge in the case says the town has an interest in protecting people from unwelcome noise, but its restriction is just too broad.

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