Night construction to be illegal in Pitkin County |

Night construction to be illegal in Pitkin County

Construction would not be allowed at night or on Sunday anywhere in Pitkin County under a change to the noise ordinance preliminarily approved by county commissioners Tuesday.

Night construction is allowed in business and industrial areas between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. under the current noise ordinance, said Kurt Dahl, director of the Pitkin County Environmental Health Department.

Exceptions to that rule can occur, but in revamping the noise ordinance, Dahl said he thought it better to forbid night construction in all areas so that those exceptions would fall under his jurisdiction and be regulated by his office, he said.

The current rules allowing construction to occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday would not change, according to a memo from Dahl to commissioners. However, the rule currently allowing construction from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays in business and industrial zones would be eliminated.

The new noise ordinance also would specifically allow “interior work” in an enclosed structure at all times in all zones Monday through Sunday. Dahl said the clarification was made to provide flexibility to do-it-yourselfers who have to work during the week.

Commissioner Michael Owsley wondered whether the ordinance covered the Aspen airport or the law-enforcement-only shooting range at the county landfill. The short answer, Dahl said, was no.

“Anything that flies is exempt from the county ordinance,” Dahl said.

The Federal Aviation Administration regulates all flying machines, including drones, he said. Further, law enforcement is exempted from the noise ordinance, Dahl said.

Owsley also brought up noise from special events like Winter X Games, though he allowed that many such events are actually approved by county commissioners.

“I’m kind of pessimistic about (the noise ordinance),” Owsley said. “I can hear X Games in Woody Creek. It seems excessive. But we approved it.”

Changes to the ordinance won’t become official until commissioners approve it on second reading at an upcoming meeting.

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