Two residents July 19 asked Johnstown Village Council to create a noise ordinance.

Two residents July 19 asked Johnstown Village Council to create a noise ordinance.

Smith and Donna Clark said they're having problems with dogs barking in their neighborhood and people riding loud dirt bikes behind their property at 119 Jersey St.

"I don't believe (the dirt bikes) belong in town," Donna Clark said. "It's head-splitting. It's just awful."

The Clarks said they've called police several times about their complaints.

"I thought there was a noise ordinance when we called the police department and they couldn't do anything about either one. Their hands are tied," she said. "They have no authority to do anything."

Village manager Jim Lenner said there is, in fact, a noise ordinance, but it applies only to commercially zoned properties, specifically, the "effects of loud manufacturing and commercial operations."

Lenner said the Clarks' complaints don't fall under this ordinance.

It's difficult for communities like Johnstown to enforce noise complaints because it's open to interpretation, Lenner said.

"What I think is loud isn't necessarily what my neighbor thinks is loud," he said. "There's got to be some way to measure it."

Lenner said he would talk to police chief Don Corbin to see if officers could patrol the Clarks' neighborhood more often or perform a courtesy drive if the Clarks call about noise problems again.

He said that would be a short-term fix until council decides if the village needs a noise ordinance for residents.

"It would be easy for somebody to come out and hear it because there are probably regular times when it happens," council member David Keck said.

The Clarks said they hear the dirt bike riders during the weekends and dogs daily.

"We've had to call (police) twice because of barking dogs and the last time they said they couldn't do anything. 'There's no point even coming because we can't do anything.' So a noise ordinance would take care of that, I'd assume," Donna Clark said.

Lenner said he would gather previous noise complaints in the village to see if a long-term solution is needed.

He said he plans to bring his findings and possibly a noise ordinance draft to the next committee meeting on Aug. 8.

He said the safety and service committee could then discuss if an ordinance is needed and said council would ultimately make the decision.

The Clarks said any type of noise guidelines would be appreciated.

"If we'd have an ordinance that should help a little I think," Donna Clark said. "At least they could come and try to do something about it."