Sumter County commissioners voted Tuesday night to toughen the county noise ordinance, even though it already prohibited moonlight landscaping.
The existing ordinance barred landscaping, including lawn mowing and tree trimming, between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
County Administrator Bradley Arnold said the revised ordinance focuses on residential areas.
“We have industrial and we have commercial areas,” he said. “We don’t want to have a noise ordinance prohibition there.”
Arnold said the amended ordinance also clarifies enforcement and that violators are subject to law enforcement citations.
Besides landscaping, the ordinance also prohibits other specific activities late at night including musical instruments, neighborhood parties and barking or howling dogs. Regarding dogs, a sheriff’s deputy can refer the case to Sumter County Animal Services if the deputy does not hear the dog.
The noise ordinance amendment was prompted by complaints of moonlight landscapers in The Villages from William Tessein of the Village of Bridgeport at Lake Sumter. In July, he said landscapers were working in his neighborhood as late as 11:30 p.m.
On July 1, according to Tessein, a landscaper refused to quit when asked by Community Watch and finally stopped working about 10:40 p.m. when confronted by a sheriff’s deputy.
About 11:30 p.m. June 30, Tessein said, a police officer told him that a landscaper was making no noise so he could not be asked to leave.
In other business, the board:
· Rezoned 3.44 acres of a 57.6 acre tract along U.S. 301 near County Road 214 to commercial. The land has a golf driving rank and closed RV storage.
· Received information about a challenge to the water pumping permit of SWR Properties of Ocala along County Road 470 near Sumterville. Chet Bradshaw claims that the company, which plans to pump nearly 500,000 gallons of water per day from two springs to be sold by bottling companies, used an inaccurate legal description in published notices of the permit approval.