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2010 Noise Ordinance Law in Richmond, VA Problem Solution Essay

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Updated: Sep 27th, 2019

Identification of Sub-Population: Richmond and Its Noises

Legislation in Richmond

To understand how effective the legislation of a new reform for the society is, it is not enough to implement the innovation and wait for some results immediately. It is more important to pay attention to the population’s reactions and attitudes to the problems appeared.

In this paper, the evaluation of the noise ordinance in Richmond, VA will help to understand how the citizens face the problem, what the nature of the problem is, what steps people have to take, and how it is possible to improve the situation and meet the needs of the vast majority of the chosen population.

The current law in Richmond is not supported by all the representatives of the society as results in creating more noise created by those who cannot agree with the idea (DePompa, 2010). This is why it is interesting and important to identify the chosen sub-population of a policy area in Richmond as an urgent theme to be discussed and analyzed thoroughly.

Noise inconvenience is an appropriate theme for analysis

There are many people who live in Richmond and suffer because of constant noises from the outside. Taking into consideration how rich the history of this city was, the activities by the government of the area were always considered as winning and effective improvements of current challenges and misunderstandings.

Richmond is the city of constant growth (Case, 2006, p. 7), and it is crucial to offer appropriate ideas and overcome the problem appeared. Noise issue is an appropriate area for the analysis as it has the impact on various spheres of human life. If people are to live under uncomfortable conditions, they cannot think and work properly and achieve the desired success. This is why the government should take care of each citizen and the challenge that may disturb.

Definition of the noise problem

“Noise brings out the worst in human beings” (Freedman, 2009, p.50), this is why people have to evaluate the conditions under which they have to live and think about possible improvements which should not touch upon personal interest as well as offend the minorities. Citizens agree that they are not satisfied with noises they hear days and nights, and there is a burning need of some kind of control that help to create the rules to be followed by all citizens.

Richmond City Council approved the law according to which the citizens of Richmond are deprived of the chance to listen to or play loud music or take other loud actions which may disturb the citizens 50 feet away from the source of noise (Wise, 2010). On the one hand, the restrictions are clear and properly explained. On the other hand, the citizens of Richmond cannot enjoy loud music or simply watch TV when they want so that loudness does not disturb other citizens.

Elaboration of the problem

Noise ordinance in Richmond is the topic that touches upon numerous aspects of human life. The point is that to implement an effective policy, it is necessary to make sure that any racial, age, or gender inequality is considered. There is no need to create a law that may hurt some group of people.

However, the analysis of the problem under consideration may help to identify that young people and cultural activists are no satisfied with the conditions for living without noise. It may happen that some kind of music is not understandable for people and may be regarded as noise.

The case with the rock band Little Master showed how datable the law could be (DePompa, 2010; Williams, 2010): the members of the group played their music at the house party and were ticketed to the court as the law infringers. In other words, the offered noise ordinance law is not perfect and has to be elaborated more in order to protect the interests of all citizens and not to promote the community “without color, and without sound, and without lively breath” (Morgan, 2010, para.4).

Strategic goals for the policy area

Noise policy area is urgent in the United States of America as well as in some European countries, and environmental noise that is usually caused by traffic or recreational activities troubles the public and leads to numerous discontents. However, the offered noise ordinance law in Richmond considers any type of noise and limits people in their actions.

Taking into account the idea of human rights and attention to personal interests, it is necessary to develop several strategic goals to be met and implemented for the policy area under discussion. First of all, the population should be polled to identify the conditions under which noise is controlled by the government. To introduce an effective reform, the public opinion should be evaluated. In other words, the first strategic objective to be set is the respect to the public opinion.

The next goal is connected to the reasons of noise: there are many conditions under which noise is created, and people are not always responsible for such type of noise. This is why the second goal is the identification of the noise root and human participation in it. To make the right decision and promote correct control, it is better to rely on evidences and personal opinions which may be mutually supported. People should have the right to protect themselves and avoid punishment in case noise is not their direct concern.

Finally, the financial side of the law should be evaluated. The history proves that some Noise Control acts were considered as “unfavorable budgetary actions” (Anderson, 2009, p. 171). To achieve good results in the decision making process, historical background should be considered as well as the shortages and positive aspects of the chosen strategy described in news papers’ articles.

Evaluating criteria for the Richmond noise ordinance law

The chosen issue sets a number of steps and basics according to which noise should be identified and controlled (horns and some other signal devices, sounds pronounced by animals or birds, radio, etc). People who break the law have to take responsibility and keep silence in the clearly defined hours.

People may not make some noises but just be present and be blamed for violation of the rules. This policy does not exactly talks about the conditions under which a person may be blamed but does generalize the conditions under which noise is made. Social impact remains to be an important factor that has not been identified by the law. Government should support citizens and help them develop appropriate living conditions and evaluate human interests.

A true reason of discontent

The core of noise ordinance program is to provide people with good living conditions but not to restrict their rights and possibilities. The backgrounds of the problem are observed at the beginning of the 1950s in different states of America (Finegold, Finegold, & Maling, 2003, p. 131), and certain actions were taken to solve problems and improve life. The chosen strategy consists of the steps which are directed to improve the conditions and to meet the expectations of the society.

People are in need for some changes, still, the idea to define 11 acts which may create illegal loud noise (Green, 2009) does not seem to be a powerful change that may improve citizens’ life. Many people are not ready to such legal improvements and have to undergo numerous court trials due to impossibility to understand how and why the law is working.

In general, the problem under consideration in this paper is the idea of Richmond noise ordinance law and its impact on social life. It is so hard to control each noise in this life, still, the law is similar to each citizen: it does not matter whether it is your child cannot stop crying or your roommate listen to rock music too loud, a person living the next door has the right to complain and ask for some financial benefit.

In fact, such situation is ridiculous indeed: there are so many different situations when noise could interrupt human life, still, whether it is always necessary to make such noises illegal and blame people for breaking the law? It is hard to give the answer to this question, this is why it is better to identify possible alternative measures and find as many benefits of noise ordinance in Richmond as possible under specific conditions.

Possible Alternatives to Support the Idea of Noise Ordinance

As a rule, public policies are promoted by some governmental bodies in order to reflect values of the society as well as to define which policy is of higher priority in the list (Kraft & Furlong, 2009). A true nature of the vast majority of public policies aims at affecting human lives, this is why it is very important for the government to make right and thoughtful decisions, think about several clearly defined alternatives, and make sure the chosen alternatives could be properly offered to the society.

Identification of alternatives for the Richmond noise ordinance

Taking into consideration the fact that Richmond noise ordinance is a new policy, it is possible to offer many alternatives with the help of which public opinion is evaluated and time limitations are set properly. Several alternatives are identified in this paper and characterized as those which have a significant effect on the environment and living conditions.

Alternative 1 is to adopt the offered noise ordinance established in the chapter 18, section 1 and prohibit all types of unreasonable noise. Alternative 2 is to adopt the offered ordinance but still admit the amendments made after the analysis of public opinion. Alternative 3 is to decline the ideas offered in the ordinance and provide the government with more information about noise and its impact on human lives.

Each alternative mentioned has its own characteristics and peculiarities. The first alternative will deprive the community of a chance to explain it interests so that people cannot do what they actually want to do anytime. The second alternative will show that there is a certain order for all members of the community that has to be followed.

Still, there is a possibility that the conditions of the law offered may be improved considering the suggestions of population. And finally, the third alternative promotes inability of the society to rely on the government and agree to the idea that people who violate the rules should be identified as guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor (Noise Free America, 2010).

Sources used to identify the alternative options

A number of sources have been used to comprehend why the chosen alternatives are the most appropriate for the policy and what factors have to be considered at first. As the idea of noise ordinance is rather new in Richmond, the most effective literature may be found in local magazines and news online.

The necessity to improve the existed noise ordinance law in Richmond is based on the case that happened to the representatives of the rock band and the intentions of the attorney, Steven Benjamin, to protect the interests of the band who celebrated the event in one of the houses on Clay Street.

Cost elements in the alternatives

The three alternatives presuppose certain costs. Noise pollution influence human well-being as well as wallet. There is a connection between how noise may influence people’s incomes: a person has problems because of noise, cannot demonstrate appropriate production at work, and suffer because of sudden decrease of salary.

This is why some changes are required to be offered to cope with noise. However, to promote the implementation of the policy, it is still necessary to spend some money and inform the citizens about the innovations.

Methods to access the benefits

One of the most effective methods to check how the offered policy is accepted by people is to organize online or real polls. People should have a chance to share their own interests and demands, and government should take the steps in regard to some part of citizens’ interests. This is why the method of statistical analysis is the most appropriate idea to rely on in this case. Attention to how many violations in a certain period is paid; evaluation of the reasons is offered; and identification of the reasons of noise is made.

The most effective alternative for the citizens of Richmond

Considering the all above-mentioned evaluations, it is possible to say that the second alternative is the most effective for Richmond. On the one hand, the citizens get an idea on how to live under certain rules and restrictions and respect the private life of each citizen. On the other hand, the officials show how attentive to citizens’ opinions they are and prove that their intentions are all about the improves for people.

Assumptions of the chosen alternative

The alternative that is defined as the best option in this case is predicated by several assumptions. First, the vast majority of citizens are eager to participate in the activities which are directed to improve their living conditions. Second, the government faces fewer problems in case public opinion is considered. And finally, the supporters of the noise ordinance could understand what they do wrong and what can improve the situation.

Sensitivity of the alternative to the assumptions

The level of sensitivity of these assumptions is middle. The alternative may be implemented either all the assumptions are considered or either only some part of the assumptions is mentioned. This is why the success of the chosen policy depends on the extent to which the government decides to involve the citizens.

Peculiarities of the policy

Key actors

There are several figures which have to be involved into policy. First of all, several attorneys who are going to represent the public opinion should be mentioned.

Their role is to evaluate the situation and introduce positive and negative aspects. The best example is the activities of Steven Benjamin and his protection of human rights. The representatives from the City Council as also involved into the policy as they are the main. And finally, media representatives are ready to share public opinion and promote the law within a short period of time.

Policy issue on public agenda

The chosen policy issue may be introduced to the public agenda by means of online advertising as well as some other media services. The only pint that should be mentioned is that people are still able to influence the development of the events and promote some adjustments to the offered policy.

Environmental factors and their effects on the activities

The vast majority of environmental factors are based on noise pollution that prevents a healthy and successful life. The success of the alternative would depend on how the citizens react to the time restrictions and punishment that is obligatory for any person who break the law. It does not matter whether a person is famous and what position is taken, the rules are created for all citizens and guests of Richmond, and people have nothing to do but to follow the policy issue.

Policy progress

To get the recommendations such as in time awareness of the citizens and constant support that public opinion may be still considered approved, it is possible to rely on the idea of human rights and the choice that is available for every citizen.

In other words, the citizens of Richmond should realize that they have support and that they could influence the development of the events. There are so many situations when noises cannot be controlled by people; however, according to the law, people have to be responsible for any type of unreasonable noise around.

Obstacles in the case under analysis

One of the biggest obstacles to the implementation of the policy is closely connected to human rights and possibilities. Some many years have been already spend to prove that people are able to do what they want and rely on personal desires only.

However, the offered policy makes people dependent again on the circumstances. It happens that even too loud music may lead to arrests and punishment. Such conditions and rules may be negatively accepted by people. This is why to overcome the obstacle, it is important to think about the benefits which are available for people under the chosen policy. And these benefits are calm and quite existence, division of time for entertainment and rest, and abilities to avoid the impact of someone’s too loud interests on personal life.

Reference List

Anderson, J. E. (2009). Public policymaking. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Case, K. A. (2006). Richmond. San Francisco, CA: Arcadia Publishing.

DePompa, R. (2010). Richmond noise ordinance under scrutiny. NBC12. Web.

Finegold, L. S., Finegold, M. S., & Maling, G. S. (2003). An overview of U.S. noise policy. Noise Control Engineering Journal, 51(3), 131-142.

Freedman, R. (2009). Noise wars: compulsory media and our loss of autonomy. New York, NY: Algora Publishing.

Green, F. (2009l). Va. justices strike down Beach noise ordinance. Richmond Times-Dispatch. Web.

Kraft, M. E. & Furlong, S. R. (2010). Public policy: politics, analysis, and alternatives. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

Model Ordinance: Richmond, Virginia. (2010). Noise Free America. Web.

Morgan, T. (2010). Richmond City Council passes new noise ordinance. NBC 12. Web.

Williams, R. (2010). Richmond prosecutor questions constitutionality of noise ordinance. Richmond Times-Dispatch. Web.

Wise, S. (2010). New noise rules in Richmond. CBS 6. Web.

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