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Pickerington updating disturbing the peace laws
Mow your grass before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. in Pickerington and the police could charge you a misdemeanor for "disturbing the peace."
The proposed law is one of many listed in an ordinance currently before council that will combine and update older laws regarding "disorderly conduct" and "disturbing the peace."
"Seven a.m. is a little early to mow your yard, could we do 8?" asked Council Member Cristie Hammond, who admitted to sleeping late.
Although Council Member Jeff Fix agreed with her, the other members did not and the beginning time remained 7 a.m.
A few of the other disruptive actions include:
• Cussing or giving someone the middle finger or as the ordinance states, "making an offensively coarse utterance, gesture or display."
• Dog barking that can be heard at a "distance of 50 feet from the property line of a parcel from which the sound is emanating."
After researching the laws of other communities, the council created the new ordinance to "take a reasonable man's approach" to what actions may be considered unlawful, Council Member Michael Sabatino said.
To determine if a reasonable man would consider a noise such as a dog's bark disruptive, the ordinance provides criteria: Did your neighbors complain? Did the barking continue for hours in the middle of the night?
"This is definitely a positive step to help in future cases, but I am concerned about the manner in which this was brought about," Council Member Brian Wisniewski said.
The city recognized it needed to update its laws after two neighbors from Long Road approached the council to resolve a dispute.
Andrea Kelly disapproved of the noise emanating from the Sweeney Hangerman's dirt bike track.
Wisniewski said he receives many calls asking the council to intercede on a dispute, but "we can't legislate to be good neighbors."
"Sometimes it's the individual neighbor disputes that shed light on some holes or problems we have had in the past," Fix said.
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