Is Sioux Falls city government bailing on changing Downtown noise ordinance?

A great view, of a nightclub roof.

After several citizens showed up last week to ask the city to AT LEAST do a study of decibel levels downtown, it seems not much is happening, except more complaints.

Common sense would tell you if you have mixed use with commercial (a nightclub) next to residential, the one producing more decibels would get precedent, NOPE. The quieter use is used instead of a fair balance between the two uses.

As we all know, ambient noise downtown alone is probably between 58-60 decibels. Wouldn’t a study by the PD and Health Department using the ‘L’ scale be worth it? The scale takes a 10 minute reading of the lows and highs of decibels and gives a 90% average reading. Makes sense.

I think 10-20 locations should be picked downtown to do the reading, and each location should take readings every 2-4 hours, Monday-Sunday. Once those readings come in, we could figure out an average at those different times for downtown.

I think the city just ‘telling us’ what is acceptable is unacceptable until we really know what is reality. Maybe 55 is a good place to be, but until we know what the averages are, we don’t know where the starting point is.

I also think some building codes and zoning needs to be changed for residential units. Even if we didn’t have a nightclub next door to a residential unit – traffic, trains, airplanes, etc., are probably louder than what current code is.

Let’s face it, if we are going to continue to develop housing downtown and other development like hotels and commercial we are going to have to come to grips with the fact we have turned downtown into a bustling entertainment district. We MUST make changes NOW while we are still growing, otherwise we are going to have a code enforcement nightmare down the road as downtown gets more dense.


#1 Sierra broussard on 03.12.18 at 6:41 pm

Just for the record greg neitzart went this past weekend and did he’s on studying of the problem.

#2 The D@ily Spin on 03.12.18 at 7:47 pm

From experience, codes are unenforceable because of the judicial ordinance. There’s no appeal into court. Citations mean nothing when fines and/or action cannot be upheld legally. The McKennon Park house case went to state Supreme Court because a city versus homeowner case would be dismissed. The ICON lounge can ignore the city. They should continue playing with but ignoring the city because the media coverage is free advertising.

#3 Anonymoose on 03.17.18 at 6:46 pm

When I lived in Sioux Falls I lived on the third floor in the Gourley Building, in between Icon and Wiley’s.

I’m am and was a supporter of live music and music in general. I have some recording equipment that I used to measure dB levels when we lived there. It wasn’t uncommon for Wiley’s to break 90dB in our 3rd floor unit. If there was a band that Rick liked playing at Icon the same thing happened. I’m all for live music, but glasses rattling in the cupboards and pictures rattling on the wall is a little much in a mixed use environment.

I’m glad this is being talked about and continue to hope for a rational decision that lands somewhere in the middle.

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