Proposed noise ordinance makes New Orleans City Council debut

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wwltv.com

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 5:11 AM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS --  What some are calling a controversial move to revise New Orleans current noise ordinance is gaining momentum. On Thursday, the City Council introduced a proposed ordinance that calls for turning down the noise levels in certain parts of the city.

The signs on Frenchmen Street glow bright most nights as people traverse one of New Orleans' popular bar and music neighborhood spots. It's here where musicians take to the stage. But how loud their music can be played could soon change if a seven-point noise ordinance is passed.

"Excessive sound, really is a problem that bothers people across the city, can really impact your quality of life," said Nathan Chapman. The French Quarter resident says at one point he was forced to move because of excessive noise. He'd like to see proposed changes to the city's noise ordinance adopted and enforced citywide.

"What we are saying is where there is noise and sound of different types like a nightclub, we want it to be reasonable where people can live nearby and work nearby, but we don't want to shut anything down. I promise you," said Chapman.

Some of the proposed changes include dropping the maximum decibel level in the French Quarter from 80 to 70 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. In commercial areas, the decibel level would be lowered to a maximum of 75. The proposed ordinance also recommends a maximum decibel level of 85 be enforced on a popular eight-block stretch of Bourbon Street.

"Don't have a problem with having a good, solid, noise ordinance that's well enforced in the city, but this isn't the way to do it," said Lost Love Lounge co-owner William Walker. This business owners says
introducing a new ordinance before the holidays puts the democratic process into question.

"With Christmas coming up and people going out of town, New Years and then the Sugar Bowl, I think that takes time away from when public comments can be made," said Walker.

The proposed changes include holding establishments responsible for sound control, creating a city position to enforce and track noise violators and adopting steeper fines.

The public will get a chance to weigh-in on the proposed ordinance in the New Year. It's being endorsed by four City Council members: Kristin Gisleson-Palmer, Jackie Clarkson, Stacy Head and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell along with a coalition of neighborhoods associations.

To read the full ordinance, CLICK HERE.



 

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