Chattanooga’s Sound Ordinance Showdown Concludes

Last month, Chattanooga’s City Council was given a live preview of what 95 decibels worth of sound is actually like. Speakers were set up in city hall to simulate 95 decibels for City Council members. The proposed ordinance would allow venue owners from popular venues such as Track 29, and Rhythm and Brews to apply for permits for decibels beyond that of the currently allowed 55 decibels. The whole process started when com- plaints stemming from South Chat- tanooga about the venue Track 29 playing their acts far too loudly and late into the night. Track 29 started a large campaign for Chattanooga resi- dents to press for a louder nightlife, which led to the City Council to look into the matter.

After a week’s deliberation on the proposed ordinance, the City Council decided to minimize the boundaries on the ordinance, but will allow venues to apply for the permits. The City Council also urged venues to take greater measures to sound- proof their facilities to find a balance that both the city and neighborhoods can agree with. At the moment, this appears to be a win for venues within the perimeters of the new ordinance that will now have the opportunity to bring even more noise to the community.

The City Council has stated they will reexamine their decision in the coming year, should the matter need to be addressed. Complaints are sure to rise with the decibel levels in South Side Chattanooga, and will likely be a debated issue for as long as there are events held so close to neighborhoods. Expect to hear about this again in 2015, and possibly sooner if the issue continues to heckle local neighborhoods.