Public hearing Wednesday on county noise ordinance

  • Mon May 14th, 2012 5:14pm
  • News

Herald staff

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Council on Wednesday is scheduled to consider revising the county noise ordinance to bring it in line with a state Supreme Court decision on excessive horn honking.

A public hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. on the eighth floor of the county administration building east, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett. Proposed code changes also apply to sirens and animal noises.

The state Supreme Court in October ruled that Snohomish County’s noise ordinance limiting horn honking is overbroad and could stifle speech protected under the First Amendment. The court overturned the 2006 misdemeanor conviction of a former Monroe woman prosecuted for honking her car horn on a Saturday morning outside a neighbor’s house.

The legal tussle began after the woman received a letter from her homeowners association ordering her to stop raising chickens in her back yard. Prosecutors alleged that in response, she parked outside the association president’s home and laid on her horn for up to 10 minutes.