amendments to the Noise Ordinance, but REBIC and our partner associations successfully advocated for the removal of a highly problematic provision that impacted home builders, developers and general contractors.
Among its many provisions, the amendments originally proposed by staff would have allowed the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to designate specific construction sites as ‘chronic noise producers’ and require the creation of a formal plan to mitigate noise impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. This designation is already used (though very sparingly) to address issues that arise with other businesses, like bars and nightclubs.
If a business is labeled as a ‘chronic noise producer’ by CMPD, the owner will be required to work with the City to develop a Noise Mitigation Plan, which could result in tighter restrictions on its operations.
Working with NAIOP and the Carolinas Association of General Contractors (CAGC), REBIC was successful in eliminating language in the proposed revisions stating that “a business or construction site may be a chronic noise producer without having violated this article”. We argued that being labeled as a chronic noise producer should be based on multiple violations to the ordinance (not complaints), compounded with a lack of initiative to alleviate the noise problems.
The revisions adopted last week provide for escalating fines as high as $1,000 per offense, and create 200′ noise buffers around health clinics, hospitals, schools and houses of worship, within which amplified sound would be prohibited. They also add specific definitions for construction machinery and a more specific process for taking decibel readings.
The revisions do NOT change the permitted operating hours for construction machinery, which will remain 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily.
REBIC appreciates the willingness of city staff and Council to address our concerns with the proposed revisions, and will continue to work to identify opportunities to improve the Noise Ordinance in the months ahead.