Noise Ordinance Revisions

 

Happening Now

The City’s proposed revised noise ordinance is available for public review. The public comment period was open between November 18 – Dec. 11, 2020 and is now closed. Click here to review the proposed noise ordinance and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and community feedback on the recent ordinance proposal, city staff recommend the following next steps:

  • Delay the ordinance effective date until the COVID-19 public health emergency lifts;
  • Continue to coordinate in 2021 with ordinance stakeholders, including Asheville Housing Authority residents and administrators, managers of multi-family housing communities, and neighborhood and music industry advocates, to build additional consensus around key ordinance measures;
  • Move forward with hiring and training the Noise Control administration position as part of the “Reimagining Public Safety” initiative; and
  • Transition current noise ordinance administration away from APD to Development Services to address present noise concerns under the current ordinance. APD will continue responding to calls for service.

Click here for more information about filing a noise complaint.


Background

As Asheville continues to develop and grow, the City of Asheville recognizes the need to revisit and update the current municipal ordinance governing excessive noise in the City limits (Chapter 10 – Article IV). In 2019, City staff engaged 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.

The City of Asheville recognizes the following foundation for noise ordinance development:

  • Excessive noise is a hazard to the public health, welfare, and safety.
  • The community has a right to an environment free from excessive noise that may degrade their quality of life or diminish property values.
  • Noise Ordinance development must use equity as a lens through which to evaluate policy criteria and enforcement action.
  • Noise Ordinance development must balance the reasonable needs of residents and visitors with those of facilities and operations, and recognize that all parties are essential to a thriving local economy.
  • Excessive noise generation can be reasonably addressed through the adoption of a Noise Ordinance that contains clear, enforceable, and effective measures to control noise.

 


Timeline

The following timeline is subject to change according to progress of the public engagement process. Changes and updates will be reflected on this project page.

February 2019 — City staff began collecting and analyzing available noise data and benchmarking examples of noise ordinances from other municipalities.

March 2019 — The City launched a city-wide survey through Open City Hall in English and Spanish that gathered input from residents to better understand current noise sources and perceptions toward noise in the city. The survey remained open for resident input until June 16, 2019. Paper surveys were made available at the front counters of the following locations:

  • The Linwood Crump Shiloh Center, 121 Shiloh Rd.
  • South Buncombe Library, 260 Overlook Rd.
  • Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Ave.
  • Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center, 285 Livingston St.
  • Burton Street Center, 134 Burton St.
  • East Asheville Branch Library, 906 Tunnel Rd.
  • Asheville Housing Authority, 165 S French Broad Ave.

The City also promoted the NoiseScore app, a free smartphone and tablet app for Androids and iPhones developed by Boston University’s Community Noise Lab and Software & Application Innovation Lab (SAIL). Results can be viewed on real time on the live NoiseScore map. To see results on the live NoiseScore map, set the date range between 3/25/19 to today’s date. 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.

April – September 2019 — The City held a series of separate meetings with residents, businesses and institutional/industrial groups to hear concerns and ordinance recommendations, and review preliminary survey results.

 

Residential Outreach Date/Time Location
Residential small group meeting March 3, 4 p.m. Public Works Building, Room A-109
Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods small group meeting March 26, 9 a.m. Public Works Building, Room A-109
Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods monthly meeting April 8, 4 p.m. First Baptist Church, 5 Oak Street
 Downtown Asheville Residents monthly meeting April 18, 2 p.m. City Bakery, 60 Biltmore Avenue
Neighborhood Advisory Committee monthly meeting April 22, 6:30 p.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Neighborhood Association small group facilitated content meeting May 6, 4 p.m. Public Works Building, Room A-109
Residents Noise Ordinance Forum May 16, 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center
Neighborhood Issues Forum August 3, 10:00 am Mission Health / A-B Tech Conference Center

 

Business Outreach Date/Time Location
Asheville Independent Restaurants monthly meeting April 3, 9 a.m. 27 College Place
Asheville Downtown Association monthly meeting April 10, 12 p.m. The Grove Arcade Conference Room
Charlotte Street Business Association monthly meeting April 23, 8 am. Taco Temple, 132 Charlotte Street
Eagle/Market Street Business Association monthly meeting April 24, 2 p.m. The Block Off Biltmore, 39 S. Market Street
West Asheville Business Association monthly meeting April 25, 8:30 a.m. Isis Music Hall, 743 Haywood Road
River Arts District Business Association April 30, 4 p.m. FLS Energy, 130 Roberts Street
Asheville Independent Restaurants membership meeting April 9, 9 a.m. 27 College Place
Buskers group meeting May 14, 8:30 a.m. Public Works, Room A109
Business Noise Ordinance Forum May 15, 8:30 a.m. Chamber of Commerce, 2nd Floor Conference Room
Asheville Music Professionals (AMP) June 13, 10:00 a.m. Public Works, Development Services Conference Rm
Asheville Music Professionals (AMP) December 9, 5:00 p.m. Online Zoom meeting hosted by AMP
Asheville Brewers Alliance (ABA) December 17, 11:00 a.m. Online Zoom meeting hosted by ABA

 

Industrial/Construction Outreach Date/Time Location
Industrial/Construction Noise Ordinance Forum May 14, 8 a.m. Public Works, Room A109
Mission Hospital Noise Ordinance meeting July 19, 11 a.m. Mission Health / A-B Tech Conference Center
Waste Hauler meeting December 11, 9 a.m. Public Works, Room A109

 

Additional Meeting Date/Time Location
Downtown Commission monthly meeting May 10, 2019 8:30 a.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Public Safety Committee monthly meeting May 23, 2019 11:00 a.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Public Safety Committee monthly meeting August 22, 2019 11:00 a.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Noise Ordinance Update Meeting September 23, 2019 3:30 p.m. Mission Health / A-B Tech Conference Center
Public Safety Committee monthly meeting December 17, 2019 1:30 p.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Public Safety Committee monthly meeting January 26, 2021 11:00 a.m. Online meeting

 

June – July 2019 — City staff organized public engagement results and compiled final results from the Open City Hall survey (closed June 16, 2019) and paper surveys.

August 2019 — City staff co-hosted Neighborhood Issues Forum on Aug. 3; City staff released a public engagement summary and began collecting sound measurement samples. 

September 2019 — City staff held a joint meeting with all groups to review findings, progress, and outstanding concerns on September 23 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m at the A-B Tech Mission Health Conference Center at 16 Fernihurst Drive. City staff continue to gather sound measurement samples and collect surveys from residents participating in the following Buncombe County Community Engagement Markets:

  • Sept. 16 at Deaverview Community Center
  • Sept. 18 at Shiloh/Rock Hill Church
  • Sept. 24 at Bartlett Arms Apartments
  • Sept. 25 at Pisgah View Apartments
  • October 7 at the Arthur A. Edington Center

October – November 2019 – City staff completed public engagement and data analysis.

December 2019 – City staff presented a data and engagement summary to the Public Safety Committee on Dec. 17 at 1:30 p.m. in the First Floor Conference Room of City Hall. Click here for the presentation.  Click here for the supporting report.  

February 2020 (postponed due to Coronavirus/COVID-19) – City staff finalized a draft noise ordinance proposal and prepared to posted it online for public review.   

November 2020 – City staff will released the draft noise ordinance proposal public comment. Click here to review the proposed noise ordinance and frequently asked questions (FAQs).  The comment period will remain open between Nov. 18 – Dec. 11, 2020. 

Jan. 26, 2021 – Staff will provide a project update and summary of public comment to the Public Safety Committee.

 


Supporting Documents

Proposed Noise Ordinance Public Feedback Summary (January 2021)

Proposed Noise Ordinance text (November 2020)

Proposed Noise Ordinance frequently asked questions (November 2020)

Noise Ordinance Public Engagement and Data Report (December 2019)

Noise Public Engagement Summary (August 2019)

City of Asheville Noise Ordinance Appeals Board web page

City of Asheville Noise Complaint Heat Map (March 2019)

Municipal Noise Ordinance Case Examples (March 2019)

Article – ¿Cómo afecta el ruido su calidad de vida?

Closed on 06/16/19: Noise Ordinance Survey   (versión en Español aquí)

Noise Score – A mobile app for community noise issues: Use this free app to measure and map noise in your environment and view results in real time! The Noise Score app should not be used to file a noise complaint with the City of Asheville.

 

Noise Ordinance Update Presentations and Notes

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update to the Public Safety Committee on 01/26/21

Proposed Noise Ordinance update (November 2020)

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update to the Public Safety Committee on 12/17/19

Notes – Noise Ordinance Update on 09/23/19

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update on 09/23/19

Notes –  Neighborhood Issues Forum on 08/03/19

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update to the Public Safety Committee 06/23/19

Notes – Residents Noise Forums on 5/16/2019

Notes – Business Noise Forum on 5/15/2019

Notes – Institutional/Industrial Noise Forum on 5/14/2019

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update April 2019

 


Contact Information

Ben Woody, AICP
Director, Development Services Department
828-259-5679

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