New Noise Ordinance Approved by City Council

A new noise ordinance was approved by the City Council at their recent meeting of January 11. This is a topic of interest to many in our city, particularly those who live near the downtown business district, where live music is ubiquitous on the weekends. The agenda documentation included this explanation for the revision of the ordinance:

“The proposed draft ordinance seeks to define certain terms and to identify specific prohibited acts in order to be less vague and ambiguous. Additionally, this draft seeks to more narrowly describe what behaviors are permissible and what are not with respect to noise regulation. It also proposes to identify certain hours of the day and days of the week in which some noises will be tolerated. Lastly, it sets maximum decibel levels that can be enforced through the use of a sound level meter.”

The maximum residential noise permitted in 70 decibels at all times (exemptions noted in ordinance text). The maximum noise permitted by commercial or industrial use is 90 decibels during nightime and 100 decibels during daytime (exemptions noted in ordinance text). Within the agenda packet (linked below), there is a chart of decibel levels and equivalent noises for reference. The ordinance also defines what, when and where exemptions to the ordinance are permitted.

You can read the text of the new ordinance HERE. There are a handful of public comments prior to the ordinance discussion at the beginning of the meeting. You can watch the City Council member discussion beginning at the 50:42 mark HERE. The measure passed 3-2 with Mayor McManus, Council Member Adams, and Council Member Bridges voting in the affirmative; Council Members Fox and Jorgensen were opposed.

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