Amplified Sound Compatibility Proposed Solutions Survey - SURVEY CLOSES 2/1/19, 12pm CST

Since 2017, the Music & Entertainment Division of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department has been collecting proposed solutions from stakeholders and staff to address amplified sound compatibility issues surrounding live music and entertainment venues, Austinites, and visitors.

For this engagement, stakeholder meetings kicked off late 2018 with a Listening Session at the Doris Miller Auditorium on December 5th.  This meet-up included members from neighborhood associations, music venues, night life establishments, real estate industry, and hotels.  An online survey was also available to stakeholders through December 14, 2018, to collect information on ongoing issues and proposed solutions. 

The main themes that emerged from the Listening Session and online survey are summarized below and reflect interest areas in previous engagements:

1.  Agent of Change: Useful as a forward facing tool, while monitoring and enforcement is used to resolve current conflict.

2.  Compliance & Enforcement: The City must improve and then provide consistent enforcement of the sound ordinance.

3.  Sound Standards, Monitoring & Mitigation: Establish amplified sound standards for all venues, increase publicly accessible and real-time sound monitoring, and increase City-led mitigation testing and efforts.

4.  Stakeholder Partnerships: Build on success of Red River Extended Hours Pilot Program, where venues and residents successfully worked together on agreements and self-regulation, while also considering other community-led groups to serve as problem solvers and advocates.

Please take a moment to let us know if you agree or disagree with each proposed solution provided so far in each key area, including your preferred implementation timeline and any additional suggestions for solutions.

This information will be collected, analyzed, then discussed during our next engagement meeting happening Saturday, February 2nd, at LZR to learn the impact of each solution and prioritize accordingly.

Thank you for participating!

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AGENT OF CHANGE PROPOSED SOLUTIONS

An "Agent of Change" policy places responsibility for compatibility related to amplified sound on the new party, or "Agent" moving into an area with an established use, thereby making them responsible for mitigating sound impact. For example, if a new residential development builds within a certain distance of an existing live music or entertainment venue that is operating within their code allowances, the residential development is the new "Agent" responsible for mitigating sound impact affecting their tenants. If a live music or entertainment venue moves to an area with existing hotels or residential uses, the venue is the "Agent" responsible for mitigating sound impact emanating from their business. Typically these policies may involve elements as pre-build acoustic engineering report recommendations, sound mitigating construction standards, and sales/lease disclosures making tenants aware of nearby activity. Currently, there are no requirements typical of "Agent of Change" policies in Austin ordinances. Please provide your feedback on the following proposed stakeholder solutions gathered thus far:

Residential / Hotel Development Requirements

There is currently no requirement or process for new residential and hotel developers to disclose intent to locate to nearby live music and entertainment venues or to mitigate existing code compliant sound impact from nearby live music and entertainment venues.

Live Music / Entertainment Venue Requirements

Outdoor Music Venue (OMV) permits are currently required for all outdoor venues and include Sound Impact Plans to ensure that venues are compatible with their environment. The individual Sound Impact Plan ensures that current and future uses within 600 feet of a venue are considered when making sound permit allowances. Indoor live music and entertainment venues do not require a sound permit but must adhere to sound standards in City Code. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree with the potential policy ideas below: