City Council Presents Potential Ordinance To Address Noise Level Downtown

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Members of the Chattanooga City Council presented a potential ordinance to address concerns about the noise level downtown. If passed, the ordinance will put limits on both dB(A) and dB(C) levels of sound.

It was noted, "When we compare our dB level, it is clear that Chattanooga is lower than Nashville and Knoxville." However, this comparison only takes dB(A) levels into consideration.

It was said during the presentation, "While you can sense or hear the dB(A)s, you're probably going to feel the dB(C)s.

Councilman Jerry Mitchell said, "That is generally the basses that are causing those vibrations...The only way we can regulate those types of annoyances is to use the dB(C) scale."

The ordinance would also require businesses wanting to feature entertainment to acquire a permit, which would have to be renewed annually. A new board, the Board of Controlled Sound Boundaries Permit Appeal, would be created. 

Once a permit is issued, businesses and residences within 300 feet will be notified.

The current codes take the sound measurement at the residential line. However, the new code would take the measurement at the line of property of the business. 

City Attorney Wade Hinton noted that the ordinance does allow for review after a year. At that point, the council would decide if it had worked sufficiently or not.

Many people came to the public hearing in support of the ordinance, including the director of the Camp House, Matt Busby. 

Mr. Busby said, "I'm really in favor of this new ordinance because it will help guide the growth of our city over the next 10 and 20 years."

He said the ordinance would help developers build more appropriately, giving the example of including more sound proofing in the construction of homes located near the defined areas. 

He said, "The way the current ordinance stands, I don't think it's doing anybody any good."

Resident of Jefferson Heights Michael Walker said he supported the ordinance because it would help cut down on police time spent on noise violations. 

He said, "My concern here is safety."

Others asked for the area affected by the ordinance to be expanded to include its businesses on nearby streets, such as Crash Pad and Flying Squirrel. 

Councilwoman Carol Berz said she wanted it to be on the record that "this is for a downtown entertainment district. This is not a prototype for other districts."

It was emphasized, "Areas used for entertainment are the only ones that will be covered by the provisions today." 

Specifically, from Monday to Thursday, the dB(A) level would be 55 from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the dB(A) level limit would be 80 and the dB(C) limit would be 95. From 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., the dB(A) limit would be 65 and the dB(C) limit would be 80.

On Friday to Sunday, the dB(A) level limit would be 55 from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. From 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., the dB(A) limit would be 80 and the dB(C) limit would be 95. From 12 a.m. to 3 a.m., the dB(A) limit would be 65 and the dB(C) limit would be 80.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADKINS, ANGELA KAY  169 SEAL BEAN LANE DAYTON, 37321  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY UNLAWFUL REMOVAL OF REGISTRATION PLATE --- BALL, JEFFREY BRENT  1309 LABREA DR CHATT, 37421  ... (click for more)

County Property Taxes Are Due Feb. 28; Trustee's Office Announces Extended Hours

County Trustee Bill Hullander is reminding taxpayers that Feb. 28, will be the last day to pay their 2016 property taxes without interest and penalty.  The regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. As an added convenience for the taxpayer, the courthouse office and the Preservation Drive office will be open on Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Blackburn Good As Gone

I didn’t know until I read John Adams’ column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that one person who doesn't personally know UTC Athletic Director David Blackburn said he heard he has a drinking problem. I also didn’t know that “the best thing to ever happen to UTC athletics” had health problems, according to a second person who does not personally know him. It is also being said David ... (click for more)

MVP Howard Leads Bradley To Seventh Straight District 5-3A Tourney Title

Two key Bradley Central scoring sprees spelled basketball doom for East Hamilton in Monday’s District 5-3A tournament championship game at Soddy-Daisy. One, the top-ranked and unbeaten Bearettes (29-0) went on a 15-1 to close the second quarter, building a 37-20 halftime lead. Two, Bradley Central started the third period on a 22-6 run and extended the lead to 59-26 and ... (click for more)

Brainerd Girls, Howard Boys Win 6-AA Consolations

It was consolation night at Hixson High School for the District 6-AA basketball tournament and East Ridge came out on the short end in both games. Brainerd’s girls rallied for a 39-35 win in the first game while Howard’s Hustlin’ Tigers did enough at the end to hold off the East Ridge boys by a 61-57 final. The tournament concludes on Tuesday with both championship games. ... (click for more)