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Covington City Council grants temporary noise exemption

COVINGTON — Bonanza Productions, producers of “Vampire Diaries,” received permission from the Covington City Council Monday night to exceed permitted noise levels in a residential area for three days this month.

Mayor Ronnie Johnston presented the request from Bonanza Productions, saying that the company plans to film at 2129 East St. from Nov. 12 to 14. Johnston said this is the first time since last Christmas the production company has filmed in a residential area.

The city’s code of ordinances restricts noise levels in residential areas to 60 on the dBA scale between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and 55 on the dBA scale from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Under the city’s code of ordinances, the council may grant a special permit to exempt noise resulting from temporary activities from these limits.

Johnston said the filmmakers do not expect to be working past 11 p.m. on the specified days. However, he said that under the city’s noise restrictions, a producer yelling “Cut!” would exceed the noise limits in place.

The council approved the special permit 4-1, with Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams opposed. Councilman Mike Whatley was absent from the meeting.

In other action, the council unanimously approved a request from Main Street Covington to close portions of streets surrounding the Square and leading to the Square from 5 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 for Covington’s Magical Lights of Christmas event. In addition, a portion of Washington Street on the Square will be closed from noon on Nov. 21 to midnight on Nov. 22 to allow for a stage for the event.