Austin Music Commission, On Demand

The good news … Austin Music Commission meetings are now available on demand. An archive of all 2011 meetings will be available soon.

The bad news … an ongoing, highly coordinated effort by DANA and DAA to continue to attempt to introduce  amendments to the Noise & Sound Ordinance that would be highly detrimental to Live Music in Austin, Texas.

The best news … We have some very smart citizens serving on the Austin Music Commission. In the following 2 videos, those individuals point out the folly of the amendments being proposed by the two downtown organizations, and tell them to, basically, go back to the drawing board.

Item D2 – “Briefing by Bill Brice of Downtown Austin Alliance, Josh Allen of Pecan Street Owner’s Association and Jamie Lagarde of Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association about issues related to sound downtown.”

(Part 1 of 2):

(Part 2 of 2):


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  1. This proposal is very different from DANA’s from a few months ago. A lot more thought, discussion, and good science has gone into this. Both you and Paul Oveisi have stated that it will be highly detrimental to live music, but neither of you have explained why. Perhaps it’s better than you think?

    There are actually only a couple issues where AMC and DAA/DANA are not in agreement. Remember that the proposal being discussed is not finalized, it is still internal to the DAA. It is being presented here to AMC for comment and will likely be revised based on their feedback.

    Paul Oveisi voiced his objections to the technical details of the proposal, but his understanding of acoustics is deeply flawed. It is fact that, for a given noise source, the relationship between measured levels at various locations for which the source is the primary contributor will be constant. It’s one of the basic principals acoustical engineers use to do their day to day work. Perhaps it’s not intuitive, but that doesn’t keep it from being true.

    Under the current ordinance, almost every music venue is perpetually in violation of the stated sound level limit, outdoor or otherwise. A one-size-fits-all source property line limit is simply not tenable. If you spend some time researching the noise ordinances of other cities, you will discover that our source-based measurement system is somewhat exotic. The reason it is rare is because it is bad. It is created from bad science and is all but useless from an enforcement standpoint. Determining venue-specific source property line limits from actual impacts on receptors is an elegant and workable solution to the problems created by having a high density of noise sources.

    It’s Mr. Oveisi’s response that’s not well thought out, not the proposal. I can say for a fact that the folks contributing to this proposal have spent significant time over the last month learning the applicable basic principals of acoustics and considering how best to design a system that’s workable, objective, and fair.

    What he’s also failing to grasp is that under the system of venue-specific permitting, the only venues that will be dealt “death blows” are those that are the “bad actors” they’re referring to. In all cases, “good actors” won’t have anything to worry about and, in some cases, “good actors” will have their allowable sound level limits raised. There will be tangible benefits to being a good neighbor.

    He also equates OMVs with pure live music venues. Is it not true that any outdoor music venue needs a permit, whether they host live music or not? I really don’t see what he’s getting at by saying that venue-specific permitting somehow targets live music while leaving non-live music untouched.

    AMC and the presenters agree that more distinction should be made between live and non-live music. This seems to be the biggest topic in the discussion. It’s true that the proposal as it exists does not speak much to this. I suspect the language in the proposal will change to make that more clear. That kind of feedback was the point of this meeting.

    AMC and DAA/DANA agree that enforcement is a priority. What was not discussed was that the proposed permitting process is designed to make enforcement easier by making the terms of a venue’s permit clear and easily accessible to APD. All of the complicated work is done on the front end, rather than placing the burden on officers in the field. The less time APD spends figuring out how to enforce the noise ordinance, the more time they have to address more important problems.

    AMC and DANA/DAA agree that entertainment districts should be treated differently. This is not stated explicitly in the proposal, but the wording intentionally leaves the determination of what limits should be applied in what places to those that would be responsible.

    Unlike DANA’s letter, this proposal does not prescribe specific sound level limits. Instead, it proposes a workable framework and recommends using appropriate research and measurement to arrive at the specific numbers that would be most appropriate for Austin. This is something that should have been done long ago.

    The only real difference of opinion that I detect between AMC and the proposing group is in deciding what stakeholders should be allowed to register objections to OMV permits. I don’t see this as being an obstacle to both groups arriving at a compromise they can all agree on.

    • Keren says:

      Whether or not Charter provides a crpapy service isn’t the point here. Believe me, I know they are crap, .The point is that KMOV is NOT a cable network so no one should have to pay for programming. What KMOV is saying is that they want more money. Advertising and paid programming are no longer enough for them. They want to start charging people to watch programming that should be freely available. The government gave the airwaves to the networks (instead of keeping it for the people) and the networks make billions of dollars each year off ad-supported programming. Do you have records that show that Charter pays for other local stations in St. Louis? I’ve yet to find any documentation that states that. The point is that no one, satellite, u-verse, cable, should not have to pay for local affiliate programming.Also, Bob, if you’d like to comment further, please use a real email address because your comment was caught in the spam filter and I just happened to catch it in time.

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