T&E Item 1
March 28, 2011
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment Committee
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Bil16-10, Noise Control
Arts and Entertainment Activities
Bill 6-10, Noise Control - Arts and Entertainment Activities, sponsored by
Councilmember EIrich and then-Council President Floreen, was introduced on March 2,2010. A
public hearing was held on March 23, at which the only speakers were representatives of
Strathmore Hall Foundation and the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (see testimony,
©12-15). The first Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee
worksession was held on November 22, at which the Committee recommended enactment of this
Bill with comprehensive amendments, summarized and discussed below. The Bill with
Committee amendments had been scheduled for Council action on November 30, but was
dropped from the agenda to allow Councilmembers to resolve outstanding issues.
As introduced, 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.
As introduced, 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
it can 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.
[For a description of the various decibel levels, see ©19.
2See County Code §3IB-II(a).