Thursday, June 7, 2012

LSA Off the Hook (partially) on Noise Ordinance

The Bend City Council is under fire after approving a new noise ordinance last night giving the city manager the right to waive parts of the rules and exempting the Les Schwab Amphitheater from the law during daytime hours.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 5:36 PM

The Bend City Council is taking some flak after approving a new noise ordinance last night giving the city manager the right to waive parts of the rules and exempting the Les Schwab Amphitheater from the law during daytime hours.

It was a 6-1 vote with Jim Clinton opposed.

At its last meeting, the Council approved a different version of the new noise ordinance without those two provisions. But these new changes negate that earlier vote and require the Council to hold yet another vote on the issue in the future.

There are three main reasons people are miffed.

  1. The biggest thing is that LSA, which is owned by William Smith Properties, is getting a bit of a pass. Makes sense because their concerts boost Bend’s economy and they’ve been good neighbors to people living in the Old Mill area. For instance,  as LSA Director Marney Smith, Bill Smith’s daughter, told the Council last night. But other event companies and promoters would like exemptions, too, please.
  2. Then there’s the bit about the city manager being able to waive noise permitting timelines as he sees fit. That part drew the ire of a key member of a noise ordinance committee that had met for several months on the topic. “This authority has the potential to put us right back where we were before the revision,” said Alan Petrich, who was a member of that committee.
  3. Finally, it’s really about the timing. That noise committee met for a long time to help craft the law that the Council passed at its last meeting. "But now, suddenly, these are kind of at-the-last-minute [changes] without time for input," said Petrich.

But, it’s not over. People who have issues with these changes can catch the Council’s next vote on the noise ordinance—it’ll hold a public hearing before the vote giving the public a chance to weigh in. The ordinance will become law after a second vote of approval.

Council members said they would closely monitor the new law and possibly make changes later, if necessary.

The next City Council meeting is June 20 and will be held at 710 NW Wall St. in downtown Bend. Agendas of the meetings are posted at the city’s website www.ci.bend.or.us.

 

 

 


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