The way this was put through with no real opportunity for public discussion really irks me. Why music and the culture around it is not recognized as a HUGE part of why people come here AND SPEND MONEY is ridiculous to me. There was not a forum that included musicians and club owners to at least be able to speak from their viewpoint. Instead of finding a reasonable solution that recognized various sides of the story, the Council only listened to a group of FQ property owners. They didn't even listen to the well respected sound consultant they had hired! Such bullshit...
Last edited by chopitulas; 12-19-2013 at 06:25 PM.
I mighta/shoulda posted the news about the Council's action here but I put it in a new thread...
Councilwoman Palmer posts this to her Facebook page:
Over the last day, I have heard from many residents who have expressed concern about a sound ordinance that was introduced at today’s City Council meeting.
I want to be clear that, despite what you may have heard, the City Council did not vote on an ordinance dealing with sound at today’s meeting. Characterizations of the Council sneaking a law through during the holidays or orchestrating backroom deals are, in a word, false.
Rather, a proposal was introduced today in an attempt to offer a starting point for public consideration and discussion. The ordinance that was introduced today did not originate from my office, but I signed on to it because I support its intention: to carry on an important dialog and get us closer to a sound ordinance that is fair and objective.
As a Councilmember, I am deeply committed to following the proper legislative process, which includes numerous opportunities for public input and discussion. The proposal that was introduced today will be the subject of a public committee meeting, and if it comes before the Council for a vote, there will be an opportunity for public input at that time. Additionally, my staff and I will work—as we have thus far—with representatives from all segments of the community, including neighbors, businesses, musicians, sound experts, cultural groups, and others.
I support the “Seven Essential Items to Make New Orleans’ Noise Ordinance Fair and Functional,” which has received widespread support from all sections of the community and is significantly based on the Woolworth report that I commissioned. I have also been pleased by the work of community groups up to this point, including the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans, in reaching points of agreement among various communities. It is my desire and expectation that we will continue to work together to develop this proposal so that it is agreeable to the broad and diverse New Orleans community.
I am committed to protecting our vibrant and unique musical culture. I am also committed to protecting residents and visitors against unsafe sound levels and improving the city’s quality of life. These goals are not mutually exclusive, and I hope residents will continue to participate in the public conversation as we move forward.
I merged that for ya (now above,#11)
Originally Posted by chopitulas
Thanks and I am glad for the clarification from Councilwoman Palmer. The article does say the Council had only "introduced" something...I assumed wrongly it was a done deal.
Story at NOLA.com today:
The New Orleans City Council introduced revisions to the city's noise ordinance Thursday (Dec. 19), setting strict new limits on decibel levels that opponents said could damage the city's storied live music scene.
"Under the decibel regulations contained in this ordinance, you could soon find any outdoor (and many indoor) concerts, street performance or any other activity that rises above the level of a normal conversation illegal and punishable," the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans said in a statement. "It would also make it much easier to shut down venues that offer any form of live entertainment."
The ordinance, introduced by the entire council, is based in part on a seven-point proposal created and approved by a coalition of neighborhood groups led by Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents and Associates.
The points include:
--Establishments that offer live entertainment and or amplified sound must take reasonable measures to assure compliance with the requirements of the noise ordinance. Such measures would include, but are not limited to, developing and implementing a sound control program and documenting and keeping records of all sound level measurements.
--The city will appoint a full-time person who will have the authority and affirmative duty to administer and enforce the ordinances and who shall have the full backing of the New Orleans Police Department and the city Health Department and who shall establish and maintain a publicly accessible (via interactive website) centralized record-keeping system to track complaints, enforcement and compliance efforts.
From a local friend of mine involved with the community:
This is also a prime example of the results of New Orleans selling its soul to the tourist devil. As the remaining, beleaguered residents of the French Quarter try to preserve some quality of life, they face the onslaught of tourist-oriented clubs that blast bad music at loud volumes (and apart from staff, on to the ears of nobody local except their long-suffering neighbors). So there is a real problem, but it is one of excessive tourism at its core. This is compounded in a few other places by people who have moved into -- gentrified -- neighborhoods with long-standing traditions of live music and want them to change just because they now live there. All that said, there are plenty of music clubs that skate on a lot of the rules and regulations, which is unfair to the clubs that do play by the rules.
So it's a complex situation. I have not seen the latest version. I think there are many people really working to find a middle ground. I think it is a mistake not to tie it to zoning, because a one size fits all approach will NOT work. I think that no matter what is adopted, enforcement will be a major issue, just as it is for everything else here, and unfortunately the mayor has done close to nothing in four years to deal with the multiple enforcement problems.
Regardless of this ordinance, I don't think we are close to solving this problem, let alone the underlying issues, any time soon.
Just my contribution to the noise ....
There is some sense here, as I agree that there are clubs on Bourbon and elsewhere who blast rock music in an inappropriate manner. But what I've read about the proposed ordinance is a knee-jerk reaction and over reaction, and would be hurtful to the smaller clubs and bars. I hope the folks in charge can work together to find a solution that is fair to all. I did send emails to all on the city council list, and a staffer from Susan Guidry's office was the only response received (a polite 'thank you, will take your comments into account' message).
Originally Posted by larrybalmur
As one of those devilish tourists, be careful what you ask for. I don't think there's a city in the US who doesn't go thru this kind of thing, but it's sometime hard to remember what keeps you on a tourist map. The Not In My Back Yard mentality is strong EVERYWHERE, but with tourism such a HUGE part of NOLA it must be kept a big part of this discussion.
Originally Posted by larrybalmur
I remember the Fest after Katrina when almost every local I met pleaded with me to return and to ask my friends to come visit because without tourists, the city would have been in trouble.
I have faith that the people in charge will figure it out, but because I'm from Chicago (and I soaked in the dirty backdoor deals the fictionalized on Treme), I'm also interested in seeing who profits from any changes.
that old Devil tourist continues to be the driving force of New Orleans' economy. Any local who does not realize the importance of that 'devilish tourist' ought to move to Detroit to get a feel for what this town would be without our visitors.