City Council to vote on noise ordinance Monday night

Monday, May 17, 2010 | 3:41 p.m. CDT; updated 8:34 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 18, 2010

COLUMBIA — After tabling an ordinance that would loosen noise restrictions downtown, the City Council is scheduled to vote on it at its meeting Monday night.

According to a previous Missourian article, the proposed ordinance would loosen time and space restrictions for noise. The proposed limits are:

  • 300 feet on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • 150 feet on weekdays from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • 300 feet on weekends from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • 50 feet every day from 2 to 7 a.m.

Tabling it gave the Special Business District extra time to solicit community input about the noise ordinance. The Special Business District put together a survey and had a series of public meetings to gather information about the community's feelings toward the noise ordinance after the council voted to table it in February, said Special Business District Director Carrie Gartner.

Mary Wilkerson, chairwoman of the Special Business District board agreed, saying she was "absolutely thrilled" the council made the decision to table the ordinance.

"I'm feeling really good about the proposal that's in front of the City Council today," Wilkerson said, noting that the board was able to get more voices involved in the process.

In addition to giving residents more time to have an input the ordinance, the council's decision gave the Special Business District the chance to create a more well-rounded proposal.

"I think this does two things: it gives bars and entertainment venues a little more leeway when it comes to noise," Gartner said. "It also adds some protections for residents in that outdoor music has some limits to it."

From response at the meetings, residents didn't seem to have a problem with music coming from downtown businesses, Gartner said. However, many residents were concerned with the noise created by people shouting on the streets and sidewalks.

Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill said he thinks the proposed changes will pass with little debate from the council.

The council is expected to vote on the ordinance at its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

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