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Most Reasonable Compromise: 

Noise Ordinance

Staff Pick


With so many examples of how politics can be a divisive sport, where there is inevitably a winner and a loser, the resolution concerning the city's noise ordinance is prime win-win example. Well played, city council, well played!

Over the past year, the question of when venues can host live music and how loud the music can be have threatened to heat up; as proof positive of how strongly some people felt, bumper stickers popped up on cars around town and various neighborhood groups started organizing coalitions.

But, ultimately, last May city council adopted a set of reasonable rules to govern noise levels—and, so far, everyone seems happy as clams.

For clubs, the rules give precise expectations—to shut down at 10 pm, and police will use decibel meters to measure whether that infernal rock-n-roll is playing too loud. Reasonable delays—like weather—create exceptions for outdoor venues hosting athletic events (like Elks games), and the fine for a first offense was ratcheted back from $750 to $250. The compromises let summer concerts continue with certainties and permit neighbors to have reasonable expectations that they can sleep listening to just the crickets and frogs.

Well played, city council! (PB)

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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