Simply put, this level of performance is terrible for any type of residence.
Building an apartment with huge windows downtown might provide for outstanding views that people are willing to pay a lot of money for, but it’s absolutely not sensible for anyone to expect such an apartment to be quiet at night, unless they’re willing to pay a lot of money for high-STC windows. It’s unfair to expect downtown music venues to turn things down to accommodate such poor design.
Laura Morrison, Toby Ryan, and Eric Rangel were asked to describe the aspects of Austin’s Noise Ordinance that they like, do not like, and want to change. Of these three Place 4 Austin City Council candidates, only Laura Morrison replied. Her answers to Austin Noise’s questions are shown.
Presented here is a proposal for a system to determine sound level limits specific to music venues applying for outdoor music venue permits. Limit levels are developed according to an objective, repeatable methodology that examines a venue’s potential for noise impact exclusively. Sound level limits calculated in the analysis are then attached to the venue’s OMV permit. The benefit of this system is that music venues which are located, built, and arranged with the intention of reducing residential noise impacts are implicitly rewarded with higher limits for in-venue sound levels. Being a better neighbor is automatically incentivized.
The list of sound permit holders for this year’s SXSW week are posted on the PACE website. You can find information about the locations, the dates, the start times and cut-off times, as well as the “decibel limits” set for each venue (either 70 or 85). Here is the complete list on one pdf. These [...]
The latest change to the noise ordinance restricts sound coming from watercraft to being inaudible at 100 feet. This requirement is nearly impossible to satisfy. It is also written for the benefit of a specific set of homeowners. This ordinance is inequitable, serves a specific special interest, and transfers an undue burden of decision making to the police force.
During a performance at the Nutty Brown Cafe, sound levels were measured at a nearby residence. Measurements were compared to several appropriate criteria. According to these comparisons, sound levels from the Nutty Brown exceeded standards for annoyance and sleep disturbance by wide margins.
Requiring outdoor music venues to submit an acoustical analysis as part of the permitting process will solve community noise issues before they occur. It will also allow each venue to operate according to its specific situation. A permitted venue can be held to special sound level limits designed around live music, rather than generic A-weighted levels taken from the ordinance.
By observing the area around Shady Grove, we learn the importance of distance from a sound source and why the noise ordinance needs to be receiver based.
I’ve added a set of pages that have what I believe to be the entirety of sections dealing with noise limits from the City of Austin Code of Ordinances. You can access them through the link at the top right of the page. The Title pages contain entire chapters and sections, copied straight from the [...]