Council approves 65dB noise ordinance
Despite pleas from several music-lovers that it might kill a burgeoning part of the Charlottesville music scene, City Council voted 5-0 Monday night to create a new ordinance to ban amplified evening music over 65 decibels in two Charlottesville neighborhoods, including the Belmont district where–- one police officer testified–- "100 percent" of the noise complaints are aimed at just one place: Bel Rio restaurant.
Unlike the last City Council meeting, when only one pro-ordinance speaker appeared, several told tales of pounding bass and rattling windows late into evenings.
"Ordinances are not punishment," said Councilor Kristen Szakos, who urged a more restrictive measure of 55 decibels after 11pm.
However, Councilor David Brown, finding that too restrictive, made a motion for the compromise 65dB ordinance in the city's two "neighborhood commercial corridors," i.e. JPA/Fontaine and Belmont. The sound would be measured at a residential property line, and Council will revisit the ordinance after three months.
"It's allowing Bel Rio to be Bel Rio on a typical night," said mayor Dave Norris, "but clamping down when it's so noisy that it's keeping citizens awake."
–last updated 6:58am Tuesday with mention of corridors and measurement location