T&E ITEM 4
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Bill 6-10, Noise Control- Arts and Entertainment Activities
Bill 6-10, Noise Control - Arts and Entertainment Activities, sponsored by
Councilmember EIrich and Council President Floreen, was introduced on March 2, 2010. A
public hearing was held on March 23 (see testimony, ©9-12).
Bill 6-10 would set different noise level standards for certain seasonal arts
and entertainment activities.
would also exempt noise levels created by those seasonal arts and
entertainment activities, up to a higher maximum level, from being treated as a noise
disturbance. In addition, a potential homebuyer would be notified about certain seasonal arts and
entertainment activities near those areas.
This Bill would allow a performing arts facility (such as, but not limited to, Strathmore
Hall) which conducts at least 5 outdoor arts and entertainment activities (such as concerts or
films) each year to, at its option, annually file a noise mitigation plan with the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP would review but would not approve the plan. Having
filed the plan, the facility would then be subject to a higher maximum noise level from 11 a.m. to
11 p.m. during April through October - 75 dBA versus the normal 65 (daytime) or 55
(nighttime) levels that apply to residential areas. If an arts facility conducts fewer than 5 outdoor
events, under the current law (see County Code §31B-ll(a» it could apply for an event-by-event
waiver, which is good for up to 30 days, and would not have to file a noise mitigation plan.
1) Should this kind of blanket waiver of the applicable noise limits be allowed?
The management of Strathmore Hall Foundation (see testimony, ©9-1O) in particular is
concerned that occupants of the new housing development (Symphony Park) being built nearby
would file a noise complaint during any outdoor performance event (concert or film) which
exceeds the applicable relatively low 55 dBA nighttime noise limits. In their view, the ability to