Columbia City Council extends District's noise ordinance research

Friday, February 19, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 8:56 a.m. CST, Friday, February 19, 2010

COLUMBIA — An online survey and a public meeting are the first steps The District is taking to ramp up research on how to deal with noise downtown.

The Columbia City Council on Monday night delayed for two months a final vote on new noise rules, allowing The District to gather more input and to do more research on other options.


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Mary Wilkerson, Special Business District board president, and District Executive Director Carrier Gartner each told the council that they wanted more time to help shape the new rules.

The city already has a noise ordinance that prohibits people from making noise audible from 300 feet during the day or from 50 feet late at night or early in the morning. The ordinance discussed Monday night would have eased the rules downtown, making noise illegal only if it can be heard from 500 feet during the day or from 300 feet between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Gartner said that in addition to the online survey and the public meeting scheduled for Feb. 26, the board also will research best practices in other cities. The District is using its blog, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail to promote the survey.

“This is the best way we know how to get out the word,” Gartner said. “We don’t have the budget for advertising.”

Gartner said The District already has examined noise ordinances in 20 cities and has done online research on the best way to handle noise. A noise committee will use findings from the research, the survey and the meeting to form suggestions for the council.

To take the survey, go to the Special Business District Web site.

The public meeting is at 10 a.m. Feb. 26 at The District's offices, 11. S. Tenth St.

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