Marion Township may become a quieter place to live if their new noise and nuisance ordinance passes.

The Board of Trustees discussed engine braking and other loud vehicle noises at their regular meeting Thursday night. The issue was brought to them by frustrated residents last summer. Many complained at a board meeting about people riding noisy dirt bikes on private property near their homes. The problem, they learned, was that police were limited in what they could do because a specific nuisance ordinance for their problem didn’t exist. Trustee Greg Durbin said he started checking the laws and discovered language in an existing zoning ordinance that would fit their needs, without needing to be changed. It would just have to be taken out of zoning and adopted as a general ordinance.

The board also discussed the persistent problem with large trucks jake braking. Also called, engine braking, it’s a method of slowing a truck down but with the side effect of potentially causing dangerously loud noises. Durbin said that while there is no law against engine braking specifically, there is an option for the township to protect residents from excessive noise. Durbin said the language from the current zoning noise ordinance is perfect and also vague enough to allow police to enforce it. He offered two additional methods of addressing the matter to the rest of the board. One is to send letters to local trucking companies asking for their cooperation in not practicing engine braking techniques in Marion Township.

The other is to place signage in strategic locations warning truck drivers against noise violations. The ordinance is being sent to the township’s lawyer for review before continuing the process of moving it from zoning to general. (MK)