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  in April at , 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."

ross tarr May 04, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I am amazed that they are actually starting to do something about the noise pollution and health risk, and that in addition the the annoyance factor the bass and drum rhythms employed by some music groups can induce heart attacks in people some distance from the event. I am especially surprised since our illustrious leaders are going to tear down the pier, a place for people to enjoy the view of the city, to walk, talk, sit, fish, and relax without spending money, to build a concert venue that will only serve private promoters, at tax payer expense.
Roland Martino May 04, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I made a complaint about Funk Fest this year. It was over 30 minutes past 11PM and very loud for any event that has ever been held at Vinoy Park.
Jeannie Cline May 06, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Would the ambiant noise level be decreased if the concerts were held at Al Lang Field?
Jewel Chase Mathewson October 08, 2013 at 08:13 PM
And now I know why St Pete is nicknamed home of the nearly dead (beats).I guess the younger working tax payers will need to find other municipalties in which to spend their money. St Petersburg will never be the reciepient of any significant REVENUE as long as the mindset is to be seen and not heard. So in keeping with a history of accomodating the homeless and fixed income seniors, don't expect this city to ever be a lively, exciting place to visit or live. Its too bad, we have so much potential, but there is no vision. Off to Orlando to spend my money. See ya.


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