In the fall of 2011, Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer engaged acoustician David Woolworth to conduct a thoughtful and comprehensive study of New Orleans sound ordinances and to work with many interest groups to propose rational changes in the City's laws. This resulted in a comprehensive report, which was released to the public in August 2013. It is now time to take the action step of turning this work into law. In December 2013, Councilmember Head drafted and the Council introduced a narrow amendment to the city's sound ordinance to focus on a subset of noise issues (brick and mortar structures), place the measurement location at the property line of emanation, and provide sound level allowances depending on area zoning classification. We'd like to thank the neighborhood groups, musicians, and citizens who helped us get to this point.
There has been much public consternation over the perceived intent and impact of the ordinance, and fear that the hard work and recommendations of the many constituency groups with Mr. Woolworth were not followed. In order to allay those fears, Mr. Woolworth has suggested, and we agree, that an even more limited focus on VCE only is appropriate. Mr. Woolworth and Councilmember Gisleson Palmer in particular, have worked closely with the French Quarter Management District to craft recommendations tailored to the VCE district.
Therefore, the Special Housing and Human Needs Committee meeting set for tomorrow, January 17, 2014, will be cancelled, and the current ordinance will be withdrawn.
Finally, we assure the public that our work to create workable and reasonable laws that preserve our music culture and industry has not stalled, but will continue in earnest.