Builders near Southside music district may have new laws to keep - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Builders near Southside music district may have new laws to keep noise out

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - City Council is proposing to now place rules on builders who want to develop residential property in the Southside.

The issues all started in June when people living in the "entertainment district" complained about the volume coming from the popular music venue Track 29.          
              
But several surrounding venues fought back, which prompted the Chattanooga City Council to come up with what is now called the "controlled sound ordinance."
          
Among other things, the ordinance highlights how loud venues can have music during specific times.

"We think we need to protect," said Director of the City's Land Development Gary Hilbert, "Figure out a way to protect the owners that are going to buy in this district."
    
Sound from the amplified music district can now be at 90 decibels, which is the volume of live music.
    
Hilbert says any new changes to the city ordinance will protect homeowners from being disturbed.

"A good builder will consider," Hilbert said, "If he's building next to a railroad track he needs to do something to seal that.">
  
Other options that are in discussion include requiring builders to follow certain rules to keep noise out, or they might have to hire an acoustical engineer to recommend similar changes.
    
Another option, Hilbert says, would be as less costly.
    
It would require home builders to notify any potential buyers that the property is in the music district.

"I'm suggesting we just put a note on the building permit application," Hilbert said, "That says this property is in the amplified building district and you need to be cautious on how you build this house."
    
The President of the Chattanooga Home Builder's Association doesn't want to see any new laws.

"We're not going along the interstate and telling people how they need to build a house," said President and CEO of Collier Construction, Ethan Collier, "If they build it against the interstate, the reason why is because everybody knows there's an interstate there. There's no surprises, when you buy the house you look out the back window and there's the interstate."
    
Collier thinks the answer could be as affordable as communication.

"Long term just notifying people that this is could be an issue," Collier said, "And allowing the building community to react to it will best serve the community and keep the cost from going up."

In order for any of these potential changes to take affect Hilbert said they have to have them approved by the city attorney and then voted in by City Council.

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