While most of the residential communities in Allen County as well as the unincorporated areas of Allen County utilize a tiered standard for juvenile curfew rules, Bluffton has a simple standard. Our curfew ordinance requires anyone under 18 years of age to be at home by 12:00 midnight.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any minor under the age of 18 years to be upon the public streets, sidewalks, alleys, parks, playgrounds, places of amusement and entertainment, or other unsupervised places between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., provided the provisions of this section do not apply to minor child or children under the age of 18 years accompanied by his parent, guardian, or other adult person having the care and custody of the minor or where the minor is on an emergency errand, legitimate business, or activity directed or supervised by his parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of such minor.
(B) Whoever, being the parent, guardian or person having the care and custody of a minor, shall allow or permit such minor to violate any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as provided hereinafter.
(C) Any person who shall aid, abet, influence, or encourage a minor to violate any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as provided hereinafter.
(D) Whoever shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be fined in any sum not to exceed $50 or imprisoned for not more than 3 days, or both. (Ord. 13-72, passed 9-5-72)
Sound Amplification Systems
This ordinance outlines requirements and prohibitions for motor vehicles with loud music and/or amplification devices.
93.50 Loud Sound Amplification Systems
(A) No person operating or occupying a motor vehicle on a street, highway, alley, parking lot, or driveway shall operate or permit the operation of any sound amplification system from within the vehicle so that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of fifty feet or more from the vehicle.
(B) No person shall operate or permit the operation of any sound amplification system so that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of fifty feet or more from the location of said sound amplification system.
(C) “Sound amplification system” means any radio, tape player, compact disc player, loud speaker or other electronic device used for the amplification of human voice.
(D) “Plainly audible” means any sound produced by a sound amplification system which can be heard at a distance of fifty feet or more. Measurement standards shall be by the auditory senses, based upon direct line of sight. Word or phrases need not be discernible and base reverberations are included.
(E) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this Ordinance that the operator was not otherwise prohibited by law from operating the sound amplification system, and that any of the following apply:
1. The system was being operated to request medical or vehicular assistance or to warn of a hazardous road condition;
2. The vehicle was an emergency or public safety vehicle;
3. The vehicle was owned and operated by the Village of Bluffton or a gas, electric, communications, or refuse company;
4. The system was used for the purpose of giving instructions, directions, talks, addresses, lectures or transmitting music to any persons or assemblages of persons;
5. The vehicle was used in authorized public activities, such as parades, fireworks, sports events, musical productions and other activities which have the approval of the department of the Village authorized to grant such approval.
(F) Whoever violates any provision of this Ordinance is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender has been convicted of or plead guilty to one or more violations of this Ordinance, the violation is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
(G) Parental Notification: If the offender is a juvenile and is receiving a warning for violating this Ordinance, the parents of such juvenile will be contacted and informed of the violation or warning.
The county sheriff in authorized to issue snow emergency advisories and warnings. In general, a Level 1 alert cautions motorists to potentially hazardous roadway conditions; a Level 2 Alert strongly cautions motorists because of blowing, drifting or icy conditions; and a Level 3 Alert is a prohibition against any non-emergency vehicular travel. During a Level 3 Alert motorists may be cited by police for driving on the roadways.
The Village of Bluffton passed an ordinance dealing with parking restrictions during a snow event.
76.50 Parking during Snow Emergency
(A) A Snow Emergency exists where freezing rain or 2” or more of snow has fallen whereas constituting a serious public hazard.
(B) That during such snow emergency, in order to properly clean streets, vehicles will be legally parked on all Village Streets except for the downtown business districts between College Avenue and Jefferson Street and Jackson Street and Vance Street, and any streets which currently restrict parking to one side of the street only, when
(1) On odd-numbered calendar days, vehicles are parked on the side of the street which has odd-numbered building addresses, and
(2) On even-numbered calendar days, vehicles are parked on the side of the street which has even-numbered building addresses.
(C) That no vehicles shall be permitted to park in Village parking lots or in the downtown business districts between College Avenue and Jefferson St and Jackson St. and Vance St., or any streets which currently restrict parking to one side of the street only, for a longer continuous time than twenty-four hours until such time that the snow has been cleaned up.
(D) That whenever any police officer finds a vehicle parked in violation of this Ordinance, such officer may require the driver or other person in charge of the vehicle to move the same, to a position off the street or parking lot, or such officer may cause the vehicle to be moved or impounded at the owner’s expense.
(E) That whoever violates the provisions of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor and may be fined not in excess of One Hundred ($100) Dollars.
In response to increased noise complaints from residential neighborhoods, an ordinance was enacted to address nuisance noises.
92.51 Noise Limitations
(A) The following acts, or the causing or permitting thereof, are declared to be in violation of this ordinance:
(1) No person shall operate or permit the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonographic, amplified musical instrument, loudspeaker, music or voice reproduction device, or any device, including, but not limited to, animals, vehicles, explosive devices, and equipment, which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound:
(a) In such a manner as to create a noise disturbance across a boundary of property;
(b) In such a manner as to create a noise disturbance in or at a public place; or
(c) In such a manner as to create a noise disturbance with willful or wanton disregard for others.
(2) Exceptions. This section shall not apply to the following:
(a) Functions specifically permitted by the Ohio Revised Code, or other Village of Bluffton ordinance;
(b) Construction, repair, or property maintenance (including, but not limited to mowers, trimmers, edgers, blowers, snow blowers, pool pumps, and power tools) when conducted between the hours of 6 AM and 9 PM;
(c) Infrequent repair, rebuilding, reconstruction or dismantling of any motor vehicle between the hours of 6 AM and 9 PM;
(d) Trash collection vehicle operation;
(e) Emergency Operations: Sound generated in the performance of emergency operations including, but not limited to, audible signal devices which are employed as warning or alarm signals in case of fire, collision or imminent danger;
(f) Sound sources typically associated with residential uses (including, but not limited to children at play, and air conditioners in good working order);
(g) Safety, warning and alarm devices, including house and car alarms, and other warning devices that are designed to protect health, safety and welfare, provided such devices are not negligently maintained or operated;
(h) Sounds generated from public or private schools and athletic contests or practices, and other school activities;
(i) Transient sounds generated by transportation including, but not limited to, public and private airports, aircraft, railroads and other means of public transit;
(j) Emergencies, involving the execution of the duties of duly authorized governmental personnel and others providing emergency response to the general public, including, but not limited to, sworn peace officers, emergency personnel, utility personnel, and the operation of emergency response vehicles and equipment;
(k) Sounds generated from the operation of a public facility or public use;
(l) Sound sources associated with agricultural operations on agricultural land which are carried out in any manner consistent with the practice and within standards of the agricultural industry;
(m) Sounds generated by church bells or chimes or other church activities;
(n) Sound emanating from a civic or public function for which a Special Event Permit has been issued by the Village;
(o) Any other lawful activity which constitutes protected expression pursuant to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, but not amplified expression; and
(p) The exceptions mentioned in this section shall not be effective if the act is determined to be a willful or wanton disregard for others.
(B) For purposes of this ordinance, a noise disturbance means any unreasonably loud, raucous, disturbing or unnecessary noise; and noise of such character, intensity or duration as to disturb the peace, quiet and good order of the Municipality or which is likely to be detrimental to or cause inconvenience or annoyance to a person of ordinary sensibilities; or any other noise or sound created in such a manner as to disturb the peace and quiet of residents or of a neighborhood in the Municipality.
(C) (1) Except for (C)(2) below, no person shall be charged with a violation of this ordinance unless a minimum of two complaining parties residing in separate residences complain about the same noise or annoyance in the same time frame. Law Enforcement officials shall record the complaining parties’ information and include the information as a matter of course with the filing of the complaint.
(2) When a violation is committed in the presence of a police officer, such officer shall have the authority to initiate all necessary proceedings to enforce this ordinance.
(1) Whoever violates this section shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the first conviction, two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for the second conviction within two years of the first conviction, and five hundred ($500.00) for a third or subsequent conviction within two years of the first conviction.
(2) No part of any such fine shall be suspended or otherwise reduced.
This ordinance deals with inoperative or unlicensed vehicles.
Persons who receive notice from the police department that a vehicle is in violation of this ordinance have ten (10) days if the vehicle is parked on private property, or forty-eight (48) hours if the vehicle is parked on public property to either remove, license, or properly store the vehicle. Anyone who fails to rectify the situation in accordance the Ordinance may be cited to court.
30-02 Parking and Storage of Unlicensed Vehicles
(A) No person shall park, store, keep or otherwise suffer any motor vehicle that is inoperable or unlicensed or both, to be stored or parked in any residential district of the Village of Bluffton unless stored or parked at all times in a complete enclosure that meets the requirements of the district or zone as set forth herein.