City of Asheville launches public process as part of Noise Ordinance revision

As Asheville continues to develop and grow, the City of Asheville recognizes the need to revisit and update the current municipal ordinance governing noise in the City limits (Chapter 10 – Article IV).

 

To help guide the revision, City staff will engage residents, business owners, industrial, and institutional operators in a public process to identify and prioritize noise concerns and develop clear and enforceable thresholds for noise generation.

 

Starting today, residents can log onto Open City Hall Asheville and tell us how noise is affecting your life. This online survey will remain up through May. Paper copies will be distributed at meetings in neighborhoods. Your input will inform City staff to help them learn how noise is affecting our community. From that input, staff can hone in on the key noise concerns the community experiences.

 

Once the key concerns are identified, City staff will engage the community again, to focus in on priority areas.

 

As part of our engagement, the City will partner with Boston University’s Community Noise Lab and noise researcher Dr. Erica Walker to deploy her Noise Score app  as a way for Asheville residents to document noise in their community and immediate surroundings. The Noise Score app creates a “heat map” showing where noise is prevalent in a community. People who use the app and City staff will be able to access the map.

 

“The Noise Score app will give us quantitative and qualitative information on how noise is affecting our residents,” said Development Service Director Ben Woody, who is the project leader. “The app not only gauges noise, it also asks people about their perception of that noise.”

 

Results will appear in real time on the live NoiseScore map and be analyzed as part of Noise Ordinance development. The NoiseScore app should not be used to file a noise complaint with the City of Asheville.  Click here for more information about filing a noise complaint.

 

The City realizes that excessive noise is a hazard to public health, welfare, and safety. Staff support the core value that the community has a right to an environment free from excessive noise that may degrade their quality of life or diminish property values. The noise ordinance revision aims to balance the needs of residents with those of local businesses and recognizes that all parties are essential to a thriving local economy.

 

In other words, we hear you. So we’re working on it with the goal of the adoption of a Noise Ordinance that contains clear, enforceable, and effective measures to control noise.

 

After extensive community engagement and data analysis, a revised Noise Ordinance should go before City Council for their consideration later this year.

 

In the meantime, keep up with this initiative on this  informational webpage on the City of Asheville website.

 

If you have questions or would like a presentation before your group, contact DSD Director Ben Woody at BWoody@ashevillenc.gov or 828-259-5679.