County Board Passes Noise Ordinance Gun Owners Think Aimed at Them

The McHenry County Board approved an ordinance last Tuesday night whose origin was stopping the noise of gun fire in rural areas.

One of the locations was in Hartland Township next to a Conservation District property.

If memory serves me correctly, that was shut down by the MCCD when it placed a path at the edge of the property.

Up comes the following language, which, as Sheriff Bill Prim pointed out, is not needed because there is already state law against disturbing the peace:


§ 9.16.010 TITLE.

This Ordinance shall be known as the McHenry County Nuisance Noise Ordinance, hereinafter referred to as the “Ordinance.”

§ 9.16.020 PURPOSE.

The purpose of this Ordinance is to preserve the public health, safety, and welfare by prohibiting
excessive and disturbing noise and to prohibit noise which is prolonged or unsuitable for the time and place and which produces unreasonable discomfort to the ordinary sensibilities of the inhabitants of neighboring properties. It is declared to be a public nuisance to make, create, continue, or cause to be made or continue any noise which is prolonged, harsh, unusual, raucous, or unusual in time or place and which causes the unreasonable discomfort to any inhabitants on surrounding or nearby properties.

§ 9.16.030 JURISDICTION.

The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to unincorporated areas (those areas which are not located within the corporate limits of any city, village, or incorporated town) of McHenry County, Illinois.

§ 9.16.040 DEFINITIONS.

The following definition-s shall apply to terms used in this Ordinance:

  • “Agricultural Purposes” means any activity performed on land that is used for the growing and
    harvesting of crops; for the feeding, breeding, keeping, and management of livestock; for dairying, horse keeping, or horse boarding or for any other agricultural or horticultural use or combination thereof.
  • “Noise” means sound, particularly amplified sound, that is of a volume, frequency , or is harsh,
    prolonged, unnatural, or unusual in time or place as to occasion unreasonable discomfort to any
    inhabitants of ordinary sensitivities, within the neighborhood from which the noise emanates or as to unreasonably interfere with the peace and comfort of neighbors, their guests, or their customers.


A. Nuisance Noise. A person commits the offense of nuisance noise when he orshe knowingly makes
any noise in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the

B. Determination. Factors to consider in determining whether a sound is a prolonged, harsh, unusual,
raucous, or a nuisance noise include, but are not limited to:

  1. the proximity of the sound to residential or commercial sleeping facilities;
  2. the land use, nature, or zoning of the area from which the sound emanates;
  3. the nature of the area where the sound is received or heard;
  4. the time of day and the duration of the sound; and,
  5. whether the sound is recurrent, intermittent, or constant.

In determining whether a sound is a prohibited nuisance noise, the use of a decibel meter or other
measuring device is not required.

C. Exclusions. This ordinance shall not apply to:

  • Any sound generated during or by any authorized public program, event, operation, or activity
    undertaken by or on behalf of any public agency; or,
  • Any sound generated during or by any operation or activity for an agricultural purpose.

§ 9.16.060 ENFORCEMENT.

A. Warning of Ordinance Violation. Any person who violates this Ordinance may receive a written
warning, which may provide the individual with a timeframe for abating the nuisance noise.

B. Notice of Ordinance Violation. If an individual has been issued a warning of ordinance violation,
and the individual fails to abate the public nuisance by the date specified in the warning, or if an
individual has previously been issued a warning of ordinance violation, and abated the noise but has
later re-created it, the State’s Attorney Office may issue a notice of ordinance violation. The notice
of ordinance violation is a notice to appear in the McHenry County Circuit Court, and shall include
the date, time, and location of a mandatory court hearing. If the individual abates the noise prior to
the first court hearing date contained in the notice of ordinance violation, the State’s Attorney
Office may request that the case be dismissed. ·

C. Assessment of Fines. Whoever creates nuisance noise as specified in this Ordinance shall be
subjected to a fine for each offense. The fine upon conviction for a first offense shall be $100. The
fine upon conviction for a second offense, and each subsequent offense thereafter,shall be not less·
than $100 and not more than $1000. Each day that a violation exists or continues may be
considered a separate offense, and may be assessed separately.

D. Injunctive Relief In addition to or in lieu of the foregoing, at any time, the State’s Attorney  office may petition the McHenry County Circuit Court for injunctive relief, or any other necessary or
convenient relief, to abate any nuisance noise .

This Ordinance shall be in full force and take effect immediately December 15, 2018.

The proposal was approved by a vote of  12-9.

The roll call is below:

McHenry County Noise Ordinance vote.

Voting in favor were

  • Kay Bates
  • Joe Gottemoller
  • Jim eisler
  • Jim Kearns
  • Donna Kurtz
  • Mary McCann
  • Robert Nowak
  • Mike Skala
  • Larry Smith
  • Chris Spoerl
  • Mike Walkup
  • Paula Yensen

In opposition were

  • Yvonne Barnes
  • Chris Christensen
  • John Hammerand
  • John Jung
  • Michael Rein
  • John Reinert
  • Jeff Thorsen
  • Chuck Wheeler
  • Tom Wilbeck


County Board Passes Noise Ordinance Gun Owners Think Aimed at Them — 8 Comments

  1. What a County!

    Build a Nursing home and then open up a Sheriff’s gun range ACROSS the street!

    Now they want to control noise with a useless ordinance?

  2. This was not aimed at gun owners, although that has been a problem

    The previous county auditor had a bullet go through her house.

    The Conservation District path was already there prior to the property owner deciding to try to hold day long shooting parties in his yard in an area containing a mixture of farms and estate type properties.

    There have been numerous other complaints from homeowners about such things as people insisting on playing outdoor stereo systems continuously at high volumes off of their decks and ATV usages.

    All of this really comes from the prior county policy of allowing estates and developments in the middle of farming areas, which places people with expectations of “quiet country living” up against other types of uses that may not be completely compatible with that goal.

    This is what is really at the heart of the current legal battle with the “Fraternite of Notre Dame” which sits in a rural area but is across the street from a subdivision that was allowed many years prior.

    The 2020 Land Use Plan which sought to curb that type of scatter shot development was defeated on a tie vote after realtors and developers objected. This is then what you get.

    There is also a legal issue with whether or not the county may do this consistent with “Dillon’s Rule” as there is no provision in the Counties Code for noise regulation by counties whereas there are provisions in the Municipal Code to allow towns and cities to regulate noise.

    Other collar counties, however, have enacted similar ordinances with no litigation ensuing so far.

  3. Since most of the hunting and target shooting takes place in the rural areas of the County (district 6),it’s somewhat counter-intuitive that all of the district 6 representatives voted for this abomination, or were conveniently absent.

    Truth be told it was none other than Mary McCann (District 6 Representative) who proposed this ordinance in the first place.

    Mary is up for re-election in 2020.

    Hunters and Target Shooters unite …… I can hear the clarion call already.

  4. Never understood why some people, a minority, have to play music “loudly” in their backyards on a summer day. Note the word loudly. A soft low volume would be ok to set the mood and have conversation with guests in these backyards. But, why blaring loud? Also, so many different tastes in music types that it is very unlikely that neighbors of the loud players do not like what they are hearing.

  5. No it’s to help with the ones who like to shoot off their cannons after dark just to prove that they can.

    I for one am glad that something is being done about it.

  6. Another snowflake offended by music volume. These compassionate conservatives never stop being entertaining. Stay tuned…13 days…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock…

  7. two people to thank for this “another stupid law” Rino Mary McCann and Dennis Brinkman who wouldn’t listen to reason…..

    The people who live on Paulson road deserve some peace and quite….

    they put up with Dennis for years who thought he had free reign to have as many shoots as he wanted and for as long as he felt like….

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