Agenda Item 3
May
18,2011
Introduction
MEMORANDUM
TO:
FROM:
County Council
~
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Introduction:
Expedited Bill 16-11, Noise Control - Urban Areas
SUBJECT:
Expedited Bill 16-11, Noise Control - Urban Areas, sponsored by the Council President
at the request of the County Executive, is scheduled to be introduced on May
18,2011.
A public
hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 14 at 1
:30
p.m.
Expedited Bill 16-11 is the Executive's revision of part of Bill 6-10 which the
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment Committee deleted from that Bill at its
worksession on March 28. It would allow higher noise level standards for certain outdoor arts
and entertainment activities in certain urban noise areas. Essentially, under this Bill outdoor
entertainment conducted in an urban district or other designated urban noise area could range up
to 75 dBA from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., at the edge of the urban district or noise area property line,
rather than the current standards of 65dBA during the day and 55 dBA at night in residential
areas or 67 and 62 dBA in non-residential areas, measured at the nearest property line.
A recent email exchange between an aggrieved Bethesda resident and the Bethesda
Urban Partnership management on ©7-8 illustrates, in Council staffs view, the issues that this
Bill raises and the potential for urban district management, ungoverned by external controls, to
ignore reasonable noise level expectations of neighborhood residents.
This packet contains:
Expedited Bill 16-11
Legislative Request Report
Memo from County Executive
Email exchange between BUP and Bethesda resident
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Expedited Bill No.
16-11
Concerning: Noise Control - Urban
Areas
Revised: 5-13-11
Draft No. 3
Introduced:
May 18, 2011
Expires:
November 18, 2012
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
_N!..!.o~n_""e'__
_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _' Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President at the Request of the County Executive
AN
EXPEDITED
ACT to:
(1)
set different noise level standards for certain outdoor arts and entertainment
activities in certain urban noise areas; and
(2)
generally amend the County noise control law.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 3IB, Noise Control
Sections 3IB-I, 3IB-2, and 3IB-5
By adding:
Chapter 3IB, Noise Control
Section 31 B-6B
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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Expedited Bill 16-11
1
Sec.I. Sections 3IB-I, 3IB-2, and 31B-5 are amended, and Section 31B­
6B is added, as follows:
3IB-I.
(a)
2
3
Declaration of policy.
The County Council finds
that~
4
5
ill
ill
excessive noise harms public health and welfare and impairs
enjoyment of
property~
urban areas have
~
6
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8
higher level of background nOise from
multiple sources, and residents and occupants of those areas
generally expect higher levels of noise;
9
10
11
ill
ill
arts and entertainment activities contribute to the public health
and welfare and the local economy; and
outdoor arts and entertainment activities provide multiple
public benefits, including community engagement, cultural arts
awareness and enjoyment, crime reduction, and increased
security, while creating spillover economic activity for area
businesses and generally enhancing quality of life.
12
13
14
15
16
17
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19
The intent of this Chapter is to control noise sources to protect public
health and welfare and to allow the peaceful enjoyment of property
while permitting outdoor arts and entertainment activities in certain
circumstances. This Chapter must be liberally construed to carry out
this intent.
20
21
22
23
*
3IB-2.
Definitions.
*
*
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25
In this Chapter, the following words and phrases have the following
meanmgs:
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*
activity that is conducted outdoors,
QL
*
*
Outdoor arts and entertainment activity
means an arts or entertainment
if.i! is conducted indoors, is broadcast onto
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EXPEDITED BILL
No.
16-11
29
30
31
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public space, including
~
public or private road, that is intended and used for
outdoor performance or assembly.
*
ill
ill
ill
ill
*
*
Urban noise area
means
~
definable area that is:
located in an urban district created under Chapter
68A;
located in and designated
by
~
municipality, or
located elsewhere, designated
by
the County Executive as
suitable for outdoor arts and entertainment activities
Executive Order published in the County Register; and
III
an
37
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!hl
either:
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ill
a space that is accessible to the public and designed and
programmed for performances, events, or recreation at which
outdoor arts and entertainment activities can be conducted; or
ill
~
publicly owned plaza, right-of-way, or open space that:
is adjacent to or confronts property used for commercial
or mixed use; and
®
(ill
is not adjacent to and does not confront any property that
is used for single-family residential use.
47
48
3IB-S.
(a)
Noise level and noise disturbance violations.
Maximum allowable noise levels.
49
50
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(l)
Except as otherwise provided
III
Section 31B-6(a), 31 B-6A,
31B-6B, and 31B-8, a person must not cause or permit noise
levels that exceed the following levels:
*
3IB-6B.
urban noise areas.
*
*
Noise standards for outdoor arts and entertainment activities in
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EXPEDITED BILL
No. 16-11
55
56
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ill
In an urban noise area that is not located in an urban district, the noise
level and noise disturbance standards in Section 31B-5 do not apply to
any outdoor arts and entertainment activity conducted between
a.m. and
11
P.J!b
if the noise level from that activity at any boundary
of the property that includes the urban noise area does not exceed
75
dBA.
58
59
60
61
(!;U
In an urban noise area that is located in an urban district, the noise
level and noise disturbance standards in Section 31B-5 do not apply to
any outdoor arts and entertainment activity conducted between
a.m. and
62
63
64
11
11
P.J!b
if the noise level from that activity at the nearest
65
outer boundary of the urban district does not exceed
75
dBA.
66
67
68
ill
The noise level and noise disturbance standards in Section 31B-5
apply in each urban noise area at all other times and for all other
activities.
69
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Sec. 2.
Expedited Effective Date.
The Council declares that this Act is necessary for the immediate protection
of the public interest. This Act takes effect on the date when it becomes law.
Approved:
72
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75
Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
Approved:
Date
76
77
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
Date
78
79
80
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council
Date
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Expedited Bill 16-11
Noise -Urban Areas
DESCRIPTION:
This bill would establish a new noise standard for outdoor arts and
entertainment activities occurring in core urban areas. Such activities
occurring in defined
urban noise areas
would not be subject to the
existing standards in Section 31 B-5 of the County Code subject to
certain conditions. This bill is a complement to Bill 6-10, Noise
Control Arts and Entertainment Activities, which addresses these
activities at performing arts facilities.
Outdoor arts and entertainment activities provide multiple public
benefits including community engagement, cultural arts awareness
and enjoyment, crime reduction and increased security while creating
spillover economic activity for area businesses and general quality of
life enhancement. In mixed use areas, space is planned for
programming for these types of activities, yet the existing standards
in Section 31B-5 do not accommodate the noise levels generated by
many of these activities. This bill focuses on urban areas and arts
and entertainment districts, where there is generally a higher level of
background noise and a greater tolerance for noise. Creating a
unique standard for outdoor arts and entertainment activities reflects
the value of the activities to the general community, and serves to
protect public health and welfare and to allow the peaceful enjoyment
of property while permitting outdoor arts and entertainment activities
in certain circumstances.
To accommodate outdoor arts arid entertainment activities in core
urban areas in order to allow these events to reasonably occur while
protecting public health and welfare and to allowing for the peaceful
enjoyment of property.
Department of Environmental Protection
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINA TION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Diane Schwartz Jones, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, 240·
777-2561
Class A
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850
MEMORANDUM
April 26, 2011
TO:
Valerie Ervin, President
County Council
n~
IsiahLeggett
County Executive
FROM:
~~
1
I
SUBJECT:
Noise Control
Arts and Entertainment Activities in Core Urban Areas
I am submitting the attached bill related to arts and entertainment activities in urban
areas for Council introduction. I am also submitting a Legislative Request Report.
As
outlined in my
March
21,
2011 memorandum to Council regarding Bi116-1 0, Noise Control- Arts and Entertainment
Activities, this proposed bill would complement Bil16-1O, which addresses noise levels for these same
types of activities at performing arts facilities. Separating the bills provides an opportunity for public
input on the important issue of identifying urban noise areas· in which outdoor arts and entertainment
activities are intended to occur.
Outdoor arts and entertainment activities in urban areas provide mUltiple public benefits
including community engagement, cultural arts awareness and enjoyment, crime reduction and increased
security while creating spillover economic activity for businesses
in
the vicinity of such activities. The
attached legislation reflects the reality that these desirable activities may create noise that exceeds the
current restrictive levels
in
the County's noise ordinance and should be facilitated in spaces designed for
these types of activities such as public plazas, rights-of-ways, and public amenity space included
in
development plans for certain zones. In the County's Urban Districts, where there is a reasonable
expectation of higher ambient background noise, and in the County's Arts and Entertainment Districts,
which were specifically created to facilitate arts and entertainment activities, the proposed amendment
provides for measurement of the noise level at the district boundary. At other urban noise areas that are
not in a district, the measurement would continue to be taken at the property boundary.
I believe that this modest approach to facilitating desirable outdoor arts and
entertainment activities is reasonable and supports the many benefits that result from these activities. I
appreciate your introduction of this bill on my behalf and urge the Council to adopt it as expeditiously as
possible.
I look forward to working with the Council as it considers this legislation.
cc:
Tim Firestine, ChiefAdministrative Officer
Kathleen Boucher, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Diane ;Jones, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Bob Hoyt, Department of Environmental Protection
Stan Edwards, Department of Environmental Protection
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Ms. Doll,
Let me take this opportunity to once again apologize for any problems that we may have
caused you or any other residents of Triangle Towers. As I mentioned to you when we
spoke we will be debriefing this event as we do all events that we manage and produce
early this week. I can assure you that we have heard your concerns and we
will
be
taking the necessary steps to make sure that this unfortunate situation will not occur in
the future.
Dave Dabney
Executive Director
Bethesda Urban Partnership
7700
Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, Maryland
20814
www.bethesda.org
301-215-6660
extension
122
240-876-8492
cell
From:
Amy Doll [mailto:doll.amy@gmail.com]
Sent:
Sunday, May 15, 2011 06:01 PM
To:
Councilmember.Berliner@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov;
County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov
Cc:
Diana Holland; Dave Dabney; Lauren Hamilton
Subject:
High-volume nOise from BUP arts festival -- formal complaint
Dear Couneilmember Berliner:
This weekend, May 14-15,2011, your District 1 constituents at Triangle Towers
Apartments in Bethesda, MD, experienced a serious noise problem from high­
volume music in close proximity to our apartments for 8 hours between 10am­
th
6pm on May 14th and 7 hours between 9:45am-nearly 5pm on May 15 because
of poor planning by Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) for the Bethesda Arts
Festival. I live on the Del Ray Avenue side of our 16-floor high-rise building and
my apartment home is one of around 100 apartments facing Del Ray Avenue.
BUP had closed multiple streets within Bethesda's Wood mont Triangle for this
festival, and none of those blocks had apartment homes except for the area
where they located their entertainment stage. On Del Ray Avenue, literally right
under my apartment windows, BUP's entertainment stage had around a half­
dozen commercial size amplifiers that played high-volume music during the
lengthy period on Saturday and Sunday noted above.
On Saturday (May 14), after they started testing the sound system and amplifiers
around 9:15am, I realized the volume would be unbearable in my apartment
right above BUP's entertainment stage. Then I went outside, found and spoke
with Ms. Hamilton, BUP's Senior Marketing Manager. She explained that she
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made the decision to locate the entertainment stage with full knowledge that
would be under many apartment homes at Triangle Towers and also said she
had located it on that part of Del Ray Avenue even though she knew it was the
only block within the entire festival area that had a residential building. Ms.
Hamilton listened to my concerns but said she would locate the entertainment
stage under our apartment homes again in future years, unless there was a
formal complaint. Please consider this letter my formal compliant to the County
Council about BUP locating high-volume entertainment stages right under the
windows of a large number of downtown Bethesda's apartment homes.
On Sunday (May 15), as I was leaving home to escape the loud noise I saw Mr.
Dabney (who
I
recognized from photos in BUP literature) and spoke with him
about the same concerns. Mr. Dabney said he had been notified that the high­
volume music from BUP's entertainment stage on Del Ray Avenue was a big
problem for residents in Triangle Towers. Mr. Dabney said he had asked for the
volume to be kept down; however, with so many amplifiers in such close
proximity to our apartment homes it wasn't helping much that morning. After
returning home around 4pm,
I
found the band playing then had a full drum set
and trumpets, electric guitars, and vocals that were at such a high volume
I
had
to insert ear plugs because it was painfully loud inside my apartment. All of my
double-pane windows were kept closed all weekend and even with the earplugs
it was unbearable late Sunday afternoon so
I
began writing this letter with my
formal complaint.
I
understood from Mr. Dabney that BUP will have a debriefing after this festival
and that he plans to discuss BUP's location of their high-volume entertainment
stage in such close proximity to our apartment homes during their BUP
debriefing. Hopefully BUP will make a decision not to locate a high-volume
entertainment stage on Del Ray Avenue right under our apartment windows at
Triangle Towers in future events.
I
will send a copy ofthis letter by U.S. mail and follow up with a call to your
office.
Sincerely,
Amy Doll
4853 Cordell Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
doll.amy@gmail.com
cc:
Diana Holland, Property Manager, Triangle Towers
W. David Dabney, Executive Directory, BUP
Lauren Hamilton, Senior Marketing Manager, BUP
®