Carmel reviewing noise ordinance to address persistent barking

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The City of Carmel is taking another look at its noise ordinance, this time to address complaints about barking dogs at pet care facilities.

Sara Ornelas, a Carmel resident who lives near Best Friends Pet Hotel on Gradle Drive, told the city council Nov. 19 that she’s been bothered by the sound of barking dogs for more than a year and has not found a resolution to the problem.

“If I can hear these dogs from 200 feet away from inside my house, they must clearly be exceeding the allowable noise levels,” she said.

Councilor Ron Carter said he’s been meeting with the city attorney to update the noise ordinance to address the issue. He said some details are not clearly “spelled out” in a way that’s enforceable.

Carter said it’s too early to know what the finished ordinance will look like, but expects that businesses in violation will need to make changes.

“I don’t know that they’ll have to restructure their business, but any entity that has excessive noise is going to have to look at how to ameliorate that noise,” Carter said. “Is it a physical change in structure? A change in what they do day in and day out?”

Carmel Police Dept. Lt. Joe Bickel said police have been called to Best Friends Pet Hotel three times since 2014 for noise complaints and that none of them led to citations.

“We don’t get many barking dog complaints (related to the) noise ordinance,” he said. “A lot of times it’s resolved by the officers or even before the police are responding to the scene.”

Carter said the sound of barking dogs has been an issue at City Hall, too.

“If the windows are open in City Hall you can hear them,” he said.

A representative from Best Friends Pet Hotel declined to comment on the record.

The city council updated its sound ordinance in September to shorten the permitted hours for certain sounds, such as lawn mowing or other loud yard maintenance.


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