Council to Explore Stricter Noise Ordinance Enforcement for Outdoor Events
On Thursday city council voted unanimously to have the Public Services & Infrastructure Committee not only look at how loud an event can be but also how late into the night an event can go.
Thousands of music fans got funky late into the night at Funk Fest in April at Vinoy Park , but many downtown residents said the music fest was a little too loud and ran a little too long. Residents are now are asking city council to enforce stricter noise ordinance codes for outdoor events.
On Thursday, city council voted unanimously to have the Public Services & Infrastructure Committee not only look at how to enforce how loud an event can be (decibels) but also how late into the night an event can go.
City staff said the main complaint for Funk Fest, which had an artist late because of travel issues, was how late into the night the festival went. Staff cautioned, however, that the issue was bigger than that particular festival.
"They did want a lower decibel lever," council member Bill Dudley said of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, "but they are more concerned about cutting it off at decent time."
Council said it would explore enforcement options at the meeting. City attorney John Wolfe said the city is limited by how much it could fine an event or organization for noise ordinance violations but said the city could deny the event from happening the following year.
"We do have exceptions," for cutoff times, Wolfe said citing the city's fireworks show on New Year's Eve.
Council member Karl Nurse, who brought this item to council, said since council approves co-sponsored permits for events, it has the authority to set rules for an event.
When the council does discuss the matter further, council member Steve Kornell said it is important that more than downtown resident voices are heard throughout the process.
"I think we need to be very inclusive on this discussion. Our waterfront parks belong to everybody in the whole city, across the city," Kornell said. "Those parks are public parks."