Sound bite: City proposes new noise restrictions
The city of Charlottesville is proposing a series of amendments to its noise ordinance in an attempt to address concerns about late night noise "emanating from such establishments as the Buddhist Biker Bar, the Outback Lodge, LaTaza and Saxx, reported noise incidents on the Downtown Mall, and complaints in residential units," according to a memo from Neighborhood Development Services Director Jim Tolbert.
Indeed, the Hook wrote about such noise issues at La Taza and Saxx last June.
"After previously considering imposition of uniform restrictions in all mixed use corridors within the City to address the first issue," writes Tolbert in the memo, which is addressed to Police Chief Tim Longo and City Attorney Craig Brown, "we now believe a more effective method for regulating such noise is to impose a reasonable nighttime restriction upon restaurants and bars within the City."
Essentially, instead of imposing a noise restriction on a particular area, the city has decided to impose uniform noise restrictions on all restaurants. According to Tolbert, this will make it easier for police to enforce, as they won't have to spend time determining if a restaurant is within a restricted zone.
The new ordinance would limit sound levels to 75 db(A) when measured outside a restaurant between 10pm and 6am. Tolbert's memo also calls for a daytime noise restriction in the Downtown Business District. Currently, there is a nighttime restriction of 75 db(A) from 10pm-6am Sun-Thurs, and 12:01am-6am Fri-Sat. The memo also asks if noise restrictions should be stricter in residential areas downtown, based on complaints the NDS has received.
Of course, some might wonder what this means for the Pavilion, a notorious noise maker, which is neither a residence or a restaurant. Would this let the giant clam off the hook?
A public hearing on these proposed noise amendments will be held at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 19.