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Sound Debate Phase 2 is Coming

Amplified sound, noise, music and live music. There is a difference in these, especially when it comes to outdoor music near downtown residences. The Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (DANA) is a strong supporter of Live Music.

Live Music is why we supported the recent changes to the Sound Ordinance adopted by Council to create Multi-day Special Event Permits for outdoor live music, which are most applicable during SXSW. That ordinance revision also simplified the code, reducing confusion for music promoters, entertainment businesses and residents alike. In short, the code revision was a first step in the right direction as a stop gap for SXSW to once again grace our downtown with fine music, a great time and significant economic benefit.

In the scurry to finalize the ordinance in time for SXSW preparations, the ordinance changed the place sound is measured from the property line to the source. On March 3, Council will consider a corrective ordinance to return the measurement of sound to the property line.

DANA is concerned about measuring sound at the ground-floor property line as the problematic sound from the rooftop deck shoots over the top of sound meters. Nevertheless, DANA believes the location for appropriate measurement of sound should be part of a larger conversation, in what some Council Members have called “phase two” of Sound Ordinance revisions.

We support the corrective amendment and look forward to continuing our work with City staff, City Council and our fellow stakeholders during “phase two.” Together, we can create a balance downtown where great entertainment establishments thrive and residents sleep at night, in accordance with DANA’s mission to improve the quality of life for those who live, work and play downtown. 

We always want to hear from you.  If you have comments or questions, please let us know! Contact us: info@downtownaustin.org.