Tuesday, September 18, 2018

City Council reviewing City Noise Ordinance.

Can St. Petersburg be both VIBRANT and GREEN

St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: 

Robert Neff

With the upcoming Noise Ordinance discussion at the September 20th Public Services and Infrastructure committee meeting, the City Council is poised to revise the noise ordinance. The City has failed to enforce the noise ordinance. Both Mayor Kriseman and City Council Member Kornell are pro-noise. 
It took decades to educate people on the dangers of second-hand smoke,” anti-noise protester Bradley Vite told the Washington Post recently. “We may need decades to show the impact of second-hand noise.

The City has been working on the noise ordinance revision for well over a year. Council started hearing the City presentations in January 2018. The City was well aware of the noise issue in the downtown area, but was not aware of the noise issue residents faced from bars outside of downtown's border. While Mayor Kriseman has been not been proactive or leading this City on the noise issue, the City Council has procrastinated. The inaction demonstrates a lack of concern for resident's quality of life.

If the City reduces the repeat calls to both establishments that serve alcohol and residences, then this will drastically increase resident's quality of life.

What do concerned residents want?

Concerned residents impacted by the noise have been held hostage by the bars and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. We support a stronger noise ordinance that measures the noise with decibel levels at a level that does not impact adult and children's health. We also want a noise ordinance that fines the bar or establishment that serves alcohol. The current noise ordinance fines an individual employee who works there.

Can St. Petersburg be both VIBRANT and GREEN?

Mayor Kriseman's pro-business position has overlooked the noise issue. Several Council members are struggling with the meaning of the decibel level, duration of the exposure, and how this impacts your health. 

Unfortunately, the City has not invited a noise health expert to present to the committee. Despite requests to City Council and the City to hear from a noise health expert, the City has excluded a noise health expert in multiple public and committee discussions on the noise ordinance revision. It is time for City Council, Mayor Kriseman, and Police Chief Holloway to understand how noise impacts adults and kids health. 

The Mayor and Council want a vibrant city and “Green” presence, but the "green" part has been put on the back burner. The City of St. Petersburg's City Council has the opportunity to revise the noise ordinance and protects resident's quality of life.  

Will the Democratic Majority on City Council Protect Resident's Quality of Life?

The Democrats have a 5-1 majority on City Council. However, there is one obstacle the Democratic majority faces, and that is City Council Member Steve Kornell, a democrat, who is Chair of Public Services and Infrastructure Committee. Kornell is pro-noise. His comments are available online at the end of the article.

The lone Republican Ed Montanari had invited former Mayor Foster to speak on behalf of Jannus Live and others. Former Mayor Foster spoke for higher decibel limits. This position does not improve resident's quality of life. Former Mayor Foster's presence had to be approved by PSI Vice Chair Kornell's, and was. Montanari appears poised to favor a noise ordinance recommendation that supports the bars, and not resident's quality of life. 

Residents must hope the four remaining democratic council members protect resident's quality of life! 

Remind City Council

It is important to remind Council that residents have suffered under the past and current noise ordinance. The City can make a statement with the noise ordinance revision and demonstrate a concern for resident's quality of life. City Council and Mayor Kriseman can either protect resident’s quality of life and health or cater to businesses and special interests led by the bars and the Chamber of Commerce. 

Residents are tired of listening to the thumping inside the home, feeling the walls vibrate, or dealing with a "Do Nothing" Police Department. Residents are tired of Chief Holloway's Police Department targeting callers as re-occurring complainants. 

The City Council is resident’s last line of defense residents have before seeking a legal remedy. 

When Former Mayor Foster represented Jannus Live and several businesses, and spoke at a PSI meeting, he demonstrated a lack of understanding of the noise and the noise issue. Jannus commissioned noise study has serious flaws in its recommendations that support its position. The Jannus Live owner also spoke at the 2nd Noise Ordinance Public Hearing where he shared with the packed auditorium that he does not live downtown, because it is too noisy. Downtown residents did not appreciate that statement.

At the 2nd Public Hearing, the City was asked how many citations had there been. The City did not know. This graphic illustrates the City Noise issue and the lack of enforcement.

World Health Organization Issued Noise Recommendation

The World Health Organization’s recently published an article that has "recommended to avoid long-term damage, we should only expose ourselves to noise 70 dbs or less. Anything above 85 dbs is considered the danger zone for hearing loss. Exposure to 105 dbs – the average dbs in a bar – for at least one hour is enough to cause long-term damage.”

How Can You Help?

You can help by contacting your City Council Member, and Mayor Kriseman asking them to protect resident's quality of life. You may also attend the Public Services & Infrastructure Committee Meeting on Thursday, September 20 at City Hall, Conference Room 10. If you are unable to attend, this is available live on StPete TV and later on St. Petersburg's YouTube Channel.

Listen to Kornell and others speak at Public Services and Infrastructure Committee Meeting

Kornell’s Jabil Intro to Music Industry at Apr 2018 PSI St. Petersburg

Kornell has couple requests at Apr 2018 PSI St. Petersburg

Kornell Introducing former Mayor Foster at Apr 2018 PSI St. Petersburg

Kornell proposed Montanari’s request for Foster to speak at Apr 2018 PSI St. Petersburg

Gerdes on bars policing themselves at Apr 12 2018 PSI St. Petersburg

Council Member Kornell’s impassioned speech for the Music Industry at April 2018 PSI meeting
Kornell on Music Industry Apr 12 2018—PSI 

Former Mayor Foster speaks at PSI Committee meeting on Apr 12 2018, St. Petersburg
Foster Speaks at Apr 12 2018—PSI

The opinions here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bay Post Internet or the Blog Publishers where it appears.

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