NEW ORLEANS -- Community members are once again getting the chance to weigh-in on drafting a New Orleans sound ordinance.
The first of three public meetings was held on Monday hosted by the French Quarter Management District (FQMD) Government Committee just weeks after the City Council dropped a controversial noise ordinance proposal.
"This is a limiter. We had a sound expert engineer come in and play the music with everything playing the highs and the lows," said Marlene Sheely, pointing to some of the sound mitigation improvements her French Quarter business has made. The battle over sound in the Crescent City is one she knows well.
Facing a lawsuit and slapped with an injunction over noise, Sheely is taking daily and nightly decibel readings from the street and inside Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar.
"When we built. There were no residents on the third floor. It was empty space. The developer developed it into residences, and so we have more of a responsibility now to be good neighbors," said Sheely.
Extra foam insulation, a floating ceiling designed to buffer noise and capping how loud night club music is played are just some of the steps, the bar says it has taken to placate upset neighbors.
The owners of Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar say they've spent $250,000 on sound mitigation since taking over ownership of the building three years ago.
On Monday afternoon, Sheely joined about 50 other people inside the Bourbon Orleans Hotel to attend the FQMD Government Committee's public meeting. The goal is to help draft a new noise ordinance that will eventually make its way back to City Hall for a vote.
"Information on the science of sound is being discussed and is being made available to everyone and anyone," said MACCNO spokesperson Hannah Krieger-Benson. The Music and Culture Coalition wants to see a noise ordinance committee comprised of one-third of residents from across the entire City, one-third of cultural business owners and tourism industry representatives and one-third of musicians and culture bearers.
"The police are busy with other things and making sound level measurements takes some time," said David Woolworth.
The city hired sound expert answered questions from residents, musicians and business owners at the public meeting on how sound is measured and how it could be better enforced by the health department once it takes over.
As the city works to improve an outdated noise ordinance, one business owner hopes it can be a win-win situation for all. "I'm hopeful. I just hope they listen to everybody and make it mutually beneficial," said Sheely.
The FQMD is holding two more public meetings on Feb. 24 and Mar. 6. Woolworth will be demonstrating how sound readings are taken in the French Quarter at those meetings.
For more information click HERE: http://fqmd.org/