One man’s noise is another man’s music.
That’s one reason why decibel readings and limits were included in Asheville’s updated noise ordinance to settle what otherwise may be a subjective experience. During their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, members of Asheville City Council will have the chance to learn whether the new regulations have proven effective as they hear the first update on the noise ordinance since it was approved by the governing body in July of last year.
The effort to update the city’s noise ordinance stretches back to 2018 but was delayed due to an impasse among different community factions concerning the specifics. The city settled the controversial issue last summer after approving updates that included the use of decibel readings to validate nonresidential noise complaints and daytime and evening sound limits, as well as requiring venues to apply for permits based on the number of events they host per year. The updated ordinance went into effect Sept. 15, 2021.
According to a presentation made available before the meeting, the overall number of noise complaints has remained consistent with the previous five years; residential neighbor noise remains the most frequent type of noise complaint. According to the data, the Development Services Department has closed 71% of noise complaints received since September 2021. The presentation also notes that chronic complaints and violations have decreased “due to objective decibel standards, clear prohibitions and staff outreach efforts.”
In other news
Council will participate in a public hearing to consider granting a $1.5 million Housing Trust Fund loan to Volunteers of America for the construction and rehab of a total of 104 apartment units for seniors located at 650 Caribou Road. If approved, Council will consider a conditional zoning of the property to allow for the expansion.
Council will also hear an update on Buncombe County’s bond program. No information or materials were available before press time.
Consent agenda and public comment
The consent agenda for the meeting contains 11 items, which will be approved as a package unless singled out for separate discussion. Highlights include the following:
- A resolution approving the issuance of up to $20,000,000 in bonds by the Asheville Housing Authority for Battery Park, a subsidized senior housing community for residents aged 62 and older located at 1 Battle Square in downtown Asheville.
- A resolution authorizing the City Manager Debra Campbell to execute a $287,275 contract with Miller 3 Consulting Inc. to complete the fiscal year 2022-23 disparity study. The study aims to determine whether the city is excluding or limits participation by minority, women‐owned and disadvantaged business enterprises when awarding public contracts.
- A resolution authorizing the City Manager Cambell to enter into a $125,000 contract with Environmental Testing Solutions for a free lead testing program, available to any city of Asheville water customer.
Council members will gather in their chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 70 Court Plaza, starting at 5 p.m. The meeting will also be carried live on Charter/Spectrum Channel 193 and livestreamed through Asheville’s public engagement hub and on the city’s YouTube channel. Members of the public can also listen live by calling 855-925-2801, meeting code 4174.
Those who wish to speak during the meeting must attend in person and sign up at the door. No live remote comment will be permitted. Prerecorded voicemail messages can also be left at 855-925-2801, meeting code 4174; written comments can be sent to AshevilleCityCouncilSept272022@PublicInput.com until 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27. General comments for City Council can be sent at any time to AshevilleNCCouncil@AshevilleNC.gov.
The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.