“We as residents in the city are constantly bombarded by noise, and we need an ordinance that lets us enjoy our residences without this excessive noise intrusion.”
“I point my speaker toward what used to be the Vance Monument. I find that I have to turn up the volume a bit just so that I can hear the music with which I’m playing. I may be violating a noise ordinance, and if anyone asked me to turn it down, I would do so.”
Buskers are visible ambassadors of Asheville’s artistic community, and some downtown businesses say street performances create a convivial atmosphere. But for others who live and work downtown, amplified sound is a daily cacophony.
Before the noise ordinance was passed last September, most noise complaints were called in to the Asheville Police Department nonemergency line. While APD still handles nighttime noise complaints and those that might come with safety risks, the city’s Development Services Department resolved 71% of complaints over the past year.
The presentation will provide the first look at how the updated ordinance, which was implemented roughly one year ago this month, is working.
The Montford Park Players started as a no-frills Shakespeare troupe operating out of a neighborhood park. As the nonprofit group embarks on its 50th season, its shows have grown into one of the most popular outdoor theater experiences in North Carolina.
“We don’t necessarily need threats of fines to learn to change our behavior. We just need to bring back the golden rule.”
“As with water and air pollution, noise pollution is a recognized public health issue that contributes to increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbance, depression, stress and hearing loss.”
“We should not have a complaint-based system; we should never have to get a noise administrator to come into our condos to measure sound after we complain.”
The new rules will take effect Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Scheduled for a vote at Council’s regular meeting is a series of revisions to the city’s noise ordinance that would set specific decibel levels for downtown, as well as commercial and industrial areas, as measured from any property away from the source of the noise.
“I believe that we should leave it as is — that’s part of the charm of downtown Asheville.”
“I’d love to see the police stop some of these drivers and issue tickets for violating the noise ordinance.”
“Asheville deserves a noise ordinance based on proven science that will create a safer, healthier, more sustainable, more socially just and more livable Asheville for everyone.”
While City Manager Debra Campbell is still recommending a property tax increase to help cover $8.7 million in new city spending, a staff report available before the meeting explains that a lower rate can be achieved by using other revenue sources.
Local divisions of the N.C. Department of Transportation won recognition in the state’s annual Wildflower Awards, while the city of Asheville studies noise and the Buncombe Partnership for Children deploys a $400,000 grant to train up to 60 new early childhood educators in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties.
“Don’t just think that this is going to be somebody calling on the phone about a bar down the street or their neighbor next door,” said Council member Keith Young. “This opens up a larger door. I am totally not comfortable opening up a new pathway into our criminal justice system.”
Council members will consider whether to authorize City Manager Debra Campbell to pursue funding for a final site plan at 68-76 Haywood St. and 33-39 Page Ave. The estimated cost of such a design is $340,000, including $16,000 for an updated survey of the property.