ATHENS — Elkmont resident Richard Nagle is desperate. His neighbor’s hounds regularly disrupt his peace, he said.
On Wednesday, the Sandlin Road resident asked the Limestone County Commission to consider a noise ordinance.
“These hound dogs bark incessantly,” Nagle said. “Seven neighbors gave her a petition, and her response was to buy another dog.”
Nagle said he spent all his money on the property so he can’t afford to move.
“Sometimes I feel absolute despair,” Nagle said.
Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said his department can’t stop the barking.
“I can barely stop my own dogs from barking,” Blakely said.
County commissioners said they are willing to look at an ordinance.
“I know dogs barking is a big problem for some folks,” Chairman Stanley Menefee said.
However, an Association of County Commissions of Alabama spokesperson said most counties, including Limestone, lack authority to approve a noise ordinance.
Gowan said citizens would have to vote to give commissioners health and safety powers.
“A noise ordinance would fall into these powers,” Gowan said. “But Limestone County has not gone through one of these referendums.”
Gowan said Madison, Winston and Colbert counties have passed such ordinances.
Gowan said the Legislature would have to approve a referendum to start the process. Blakely said he worries that a noise ordinance would unnecessarily burden deputies.
The sheriff said Nagle has options: He can swear out a warrant for disturbing the peace or file a civil lawsuit against the neighbor.
Bayne Hughes can be reached at 256-340-2432 or email@example.com.
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