ASK THE BORED: BOW to Pastime, “Long distance runaround / Long time waiting to feel the sound.”


We’ve given the Board of Public Works and Safety a whole laundry list of street grid topics to consider at this morning’s meeting — not that any of them read the blog, seeing as it would be quality of life heresy, punishable by forced recitation of the teachings of Chairman Nash.

Grid Control, Vol. 7: What will the Board of Works do to rectify HWC’s striping errors on the north side of Spring Street, apart from microwaving another round of sausage biscuits?

As we wait near the very rear of the Great Gahan Prioritization Queue, let’s consider this exchange at last week’s BOW meeting. Here is the party of the first part, with the punch line to follow.

It’s at least the second time that Pastime Grill & Pub has come before the bored seeking an exemption to “make noise” via evening entertainment, and the second time (at least) Pastime has been told there is no such exemption, even if it seemed to be so at the conclusion of city council actions last year ostensibly designed to update the city’s noise ordinance (reprinted in full below).

October 11, 2016
ASK THE BORED: Irv’s latest proposal for trucking safety, noise non-exemptions, and a probable date for the two-way streets vote.

September 1, 2016
Caesar absent, Coffey abstains, Rickard fumes and city council unanimously approves a noise ordinance upgrade.

August 22, 2016
Noise ordinance 2016: Surveying the bedfellows, parsing the decibels.

The simple fact is that last year’s upgrade would have been more honest had it been titled “The Pastime Noise Ordinance Reboot.”

Mind you, it isn’t that the bar’s residential neighbors don’t have valid noise complaints. Rather, noise in our urban area is a fiendishly complicated issue given the revival of a downtown business district and the proximity of residents to activity, whether in older neighborhoods or upstairs above a bar or restaurant, as at Brooklyn and The Butcher and Gospel Bird.  

Did city council intend to give businesses like Pastime a handful of annual exemptions? Was Pastime being trolled? Was there a communications breakdown?

I don’t know the answers, but the advice given to the Pastime representative by Mickey Thompson last week is absolutely priceless.

That’s right, Mr. Rickard. Go have a nice chat with your councilman, Greg Phipps.

I’d like to be a fly on THAT wall.

   (A)   It shall be unlawful for any person within the city’s corporate limits, to continue, or cause to be made or continued, any unreasonably loud, harsh or excessive noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace, or safety of others, unless the making and continuing of the noise is necessary for the protection or preservation of property or the life, health, or safety of a person or persons. Any person who violates this chapter shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 96.99.
   (B)   The following acts are hereby declared to be unreasonably loud, harsh or excessive noises in violation of this chapter, but the enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
      (1)   The sounding of any horn or other such audible signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle on any right-of-way, parking lot or other public place, except as a danger warning, for an unreasonable period of time;
      (2)   The use or operation of any radio, stereo, or other machine or device for the producing, reproducing or amplification of sound in any vehicle in such a manner as to create an unreasonably loud, harsh, or excessive noise, that disturbs the peace, quiet or comfort of others;
      (3)   The use or operation of, or allowing the use or operation of, any radio, stereo, musical instrument, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such a manner as to create an unreasonably loud, harsh or excessive noise which disturbs the peace, quiet, and comfort of others by creating or allowing a louder volume than is necessary for the convenient hearing of the person or persons who are voluntarily in the room, chamber, or vehicle in which any machine, device, or musical instrument described above is located;
      (4)   The use or operation of any vehicle in such manner as to produce any unreasonably loud, harsh or excessive noise, or to discharge into the open air the exhaust of any vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent any unreasonably loud, harsh or excessive noises therefrom;
      (5)   The creation of any unreasonably loud, harsh, or excessive noise in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle, or by the operation of any such vehicle;
      (6)   The use of any mechanical loud speaker, amplifier, sound system, stereo or radio on any moving or standing vehicle for advertising, entertainment or any other purpose, in such a manner as to create an unreasonably loud, harsh or excessive noise; and
      (7)   The unreasonably prolonged continuation of animal noises, as provided in § 91.07.
   (C)   The standards which shall be considered in determining whether a violation of this section exists shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
      (1)   The volume of the noise;
      (2)   The intensity of the noise;
      (3)   The volume and intensity of background noise, if any;
      (4)   The proximity of the noise to a residential area, place of public accommodation, such as a hotel, motel, inn, campground and the like, health care facilities, churches or schools;
      (5)   The nature and zoning of the area within which the noise emanates;
      (6)   The density of inhabitation of the area within which the noise emanates;
      (7)   The time of day or night the noise occurs;
      (8)   The duration of the noise;
      (9)   Whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant; and
      (10)   Whether any applicable exemptions apply.
(Ord. A-03-53, passed 8-21-2003; Am. Ord. G-11-42, passed 12-15-2011; Ord. G-16-08, passed 9-1-2016)  Penalty, see § 96.99
Bookmark§ 96.02  EXEMPTIONS.
   The following are exempted from the provisions of this chapter:
   (A)   Sounds emitted from authorized emergency vehicles;
   (B)   Lawn mowers, weed blowers, garden tractors, construction and repair equipment, go-carts, power tools, when properly muffled, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. only;
   (C)   Burglar alarms and other warning devices when properly installed, providing the cause for the alarm or warning device sound is investigated and turned off within a reasonable period of time;
   (D)   Events authorized by the Board of Public Works and Safety. However, there shall not be more than three events, totaling six days, in a calendar year authorized by Board of Public Works and Safety, granted to any individual or entity in a calendar year. Any additional annual exemptions will require Council approval;
   (E)   Noise associated with scholastic or athletic events;
   (F)   Sounds emitted for emergency purposes;
   (G)   Sounds associated with consumer fireworks permitted by state law under I.C. 22-11-14 et seq.;
   (H)   Sounds associated with the normal conduct of legally established non-transient businesses, organizations and governmental entities, when the sounds are customary, incidental and within the normal range appropriate for the use; provided, however, that, commercial enterprises shall not be entitled to this exemption between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. on weekdays, and 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. However, it is noted that §§ 156.078(B)(7) and 156.078(C)(7) are applicable for light industrial use and heavy industrial use, respectively;
   (I)   Garbage collection between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.;
   (J)   Sounds associated with equipment or animals lawfully utilized by disabled persons to accommodate their disability;
   (K)   Noise associated with an auction conducted by a licensed auctioneer;
   (L)   Noises resulting from any and all transportation, flood control, utility company maintenance and construction operations at any time on rights-of-way, and noises from situations which may occur on private real property, including in parking lots, deemed necessary to serve the best interest of the public and to protect the public’s health and well being, including but not limited to, street or hard surface sweeping or cleaning, debris and limb removal, removal of downed wires, restoring electrical service, repairing traffic signals, unplugging sewers, snow removal, house moving, vacuuming catch-basins, removal of damaged poles and vehicles, repair of water hydrants and mains, gas lines, oil lines, and sewers; and
   (M)   Noises from activities conducted on public parks or playgrounds and public or private school grounds, including but not limited to, school athletic and school entertainment events.
(Ord. A-03-53, passed 8-21-2003; Ord. G-11-42, passed 12-15-2011; Ord. G-16-08, passed 9-1-2016)
Bookmark§ 96.99  PENALTY.
   (A)   A first violation of any section of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of $150 for the first offense. The date of the citation is the date for use to determine whether divisions (B) and (C) herein should apply.
   (B)   A second violation of any section this chapter by the same person or entity within a six-month period from the first violation shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of $300.
   (C)   A third or more subsequent violations of this chapter by the same person or entity within a six- month period from the first violation shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of $500 per violation thereafter;

(Ord. A-03-53, passed 8-21-2003; Ord. G-11-42, passed 12-15-2011; Am. Ord. G-16-08, passed 9-1-2016)