Downtown Zoning

Come here for discussion about the new downtown entertainment district.
User avatar
DColeKC
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1068
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:50 am

Downtown Zoning

Post by DColeKC »

Question for you all. I have a friend I used to work with who's asked me a question and I don't have a good answer.

There seems to be one downtown resident who hates noise. He doesn't live in One or Two light but still says the concerts downtown are too loud. He finally got the city to send a warning letter and they reference a sound ordinance code and residential property lines. In all my years there, we never received an official letter from the city, so I'm wondering how does the zoning of the area apply to what ordinances can be enforced? Isn't the entire PNL District zoned Urban Redevelopment? Does the chapter 46 of Code of General Ordinances apply to all zones?

The code is a bit ridiculous and would severely impact downtown concerts and revenue if strictly enforced. It essentially calls for a deathly quiet environment after 10pm.

Thanks for any help you all can provide.

flyingember
Mark Twain Tower
Mark Twain Tower
Posts: 9062
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by flyingember »

"A friend"

Noise code applies if your noise reaches a residential property (crosses the fence line) above a certain level, no matter the source. There's no exceptions based on zoning type for this.

If you run a entertainment venue you are required to account for this in noise mitigation and the types of entertainment hired, such as hiring the louder bands for earlier hours in the evening.

You need to hire someone who works with acoustics to assess your environment and can work to identify solutions. Hiring less rock bands after 10pm and having more acoustic guitar might be an easy solution

shinatoo
Ambassador
Posts: 6655
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:20 pm

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by shinatoo »

A good acoustician will first determine if you are in violation or not. They will be familiar with the noise ordinances in your municipality and will do a site visit to determine noise levels. Secondly they will make recommendations for mitigation if required.

And they won't be programming recommendations. Even though we all know how much people like to listen to quieter and quieter music and they get later into their evening out.

DM if you want recommendations. Some of the best in the country are right here in KC.
Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

User avatar
DColeKC
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1068
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by DColeKC »

flyingember wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:54 pm
"A friend"

Noise code applies if your noise reaches a residential property (crosses the fence line) above a certain level, no matter the source. There's no exceptions based on zoning type for this.

If you run a entertainment venue you are required to account for this in noise mitigation and the types of entertainment hired, such as hiring the louder bands for earlier hours in the evening.

You need to hire someone who works with acoustics to assess your environment and can work to identify solutions. Hiring less rock bands after 10pm and having more acoustic guitar might be an easy solution
This is for the big concerts at kc live. As the former director of operations, I'm very familiar with the issue but surprised that they are now getting the complaints. The "friend" is the person they hired to replace me. The type of band doesn't dictate the sound level. A sold out country show is likely going to be just as loud as a sold out rock show. The 10pm thing is the killer, typically shows go until 10:45/11:00. When one light was built, they installed a half-million dollar sound system to improve on the spillage and focus the audio within the live block. Nothing you do is going to stop sound escaping from an open air facility though. I did work with some acoustical engineers and the sound level in One Light from concerts wasn't an issue, matter of fact loud vehicles, car stereos and motorcycles passing by gave him higher readings on his meter.

I remember a few years ago the city was considering changes to the sound ordinance and it had Crossroads KC upset. Did that every get passed?

It's a shame that a single person complaining can potentially cause issues. The city receives a total of 55 complaints a year, hardly a serious issue.

Thanks for the info on zoning, that's helpful. You would think that the noise expectations of someone who decided to live next to an outdoor entertainment facility would be much different than someone living in the burbs.

User avatar
DColeKC
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1068
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by DColeKC »

shinatoo wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:59 pm
A good acoustician will first determine if you are in violation or not. They will be familiar with the noise ordinances in your municipality and will do a site visit to determine noise levels. Secondly they will make recommendations for mitigation if required.

And they won't be programming recommendations. Even though we all know how much people like to listen to quieter and quieter music and they get later into their evening out.

DM if you want recommendations. Some of the best in the country are right here in KC.
Thank you!

User avatar
DaveKCMO
Ambassador
Posts: 18595
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:22 pm
Location: Crossroads
Contact:

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by DaveKCMO »

Just because the city doesn't receive more noise complaints doesn't mean noise isn't a problem. I've lived in the Crossroads for 15 years and as more people move/visit here I accept that it will get more noisy, however:

1. Outdoor music venues do not belong next to residential developments without serious noise abatement. As a result, I expect CrossroadsKC to move as the space around them includes more residential. I can hear many of those concerts from my condo on Baltimore. When the Live block opened, there was no residential next to the concert venue and with the amount of turnover it doesn't shock me at all that there are "suddenly" noise complaints.

2. Motorcycles suck (come by on Sunday evening).

User avatar
DColeKC
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1068
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by DColeKC »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:12 pm
Just because the city doesn't receive more noise complaints doesn't mean noise isn't a problem. I've lived in the Crossroads for 15 years and as more people move/visit here I accept that it will get more noisy, however:

1. Outdoor music venues do not belong next to residential developments without serious noise abatement. As a result, I expect CrossroadsKC to move as the space around them includes more residential. I can hear many of those concerts from my condo on Baltimore. When the Live block opened, there was no residential next to the concert venue and with the amount of turnover it doesn't shock me at all that there are "suddenly" noise complaints.

2. Motorcycles suck (come by on Sunday evening).
Very true. What's frustrating about this particular complaint is the one person taking issue won't tell my friend where exactly he lives, so they don't even know where to start in order to address the issue! I remember the leasing team being very upfront with potential residents when One Light opened telling them there were dozens and dozens concerts across the street, some that go past 11pm. We did start adjusting the programming once One Light opened, for example live music no later than midnight, enforcing a decibel restriction within the live block that would lower as the night went on. We also only had DJ's past a certain time to be able to control the volume as well as stopping at 1am. I believe they're still following those practices.

When I was there, conversations and quotes were being looked at to have the live block able to be enclosed as well. We also looked at sound dampening as the entire place is nothing but hard surfaces. I'll ask if those topics are still on the table.

WoodDraw
Valencia Place
Valencia Place
Posts: 1886
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:53 pm

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by WoodDraw »

Sometimes I feel like people from Kansas City have never lived in another city. Or, in the crosswords at least, think cities should stop at 10pm and everyone go to bed.

Downtown is dead almost always. Even the busy night are dead. I love the few times we get people and music around.

User avatar
KCPowercat
Ambassador
Posts: 30687
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by KCPowercat »

While this might be one person persuing it to this level I'm sure it's not the only one annoyed. Personally I feel like this is buyer beware. You knew what you were renting and where.

User avatar
DColeKC
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1068
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by DColeKC »

KCPowercat wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:58 pm
While this might be one person persuing it to this level I'm sure it's not the only one annoyed. Personally I feel like this is buyer beware. You knew what you were renting and where.
That's how I feel as well. It's like someone who moves in across from a school and complains about kids being around all the time or buying a home in a brand new neighborhood and complains about construction noise.

User avatar
grovester
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4188
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:30 pm
Location: KC Metro

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by grovester »

OTOH, if this person researched noise regs before they moved in and figured they could live with them, only to find out that they are not being followed, then that would be on you.

shinatoo
Ambassador
Posts: 6655
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:20 pm

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by shinatoo »

The person complaining will have to allow someone in their residence* to measure the sound level to prove you are in violation of the ordinance. Until that happens you don't have anything to worry about beyond trying to be a good neighbor.

*Possibly at there property line. Not sure how the ordinance reads in KC for MDU's.
Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

earthling
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6506
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by earthling »

A great way to cut city noise is to use some form of a white noise generator. I use these air purifiers in turbo mode and also this 10 hour white noise stream (great when traveling, bigger the speaker the better). The downside is that some can become dependent on white noise to sleep.

flyingember
Mark Twain Tower
Mark Twain Tower
Posts: 9062
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by flyingember »

shinatoo wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:37 am
The person complaining will have to allow someone in their residence* to measure the sound level to prove you are in violation of the ordinance. Until that happens you don't have anything to worry about beyond trying to be a good neighbor.

*Possibly at there property line. Not sure how the ordinance reads in KC for MDU's.
there's two standards, inside vs outside noise levels. one they need to measure inside, the other they don't

User avatar
FangKC
City Hall
City Hall
Posts: 15252
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by FangKC »

It could just be a person who is determined not to be pleased. They exist everywhere.

I lived in an apartment across from hospital emergency room entrance in NYC for five years. There were ambulance sirens blaring regularly. After awhile, it became background noise. :lol:
Last edited by FangKC on Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
grovester
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4188
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:30 pm
Location: KC Metro

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by grovester »

Ha! Same thing when I lived underneath some BART tracks in the East Bay.

If on the phone, we'd just pause while the train passed, while the person on the other end wondered what the hell had just happened.

User avatar
Brodees
Ambassador
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Downtown

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by Brodees »

DColeKC wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:04 pm

I did work with some acoustical engineers and the sound level in One Light from concerts wasn't an issue, matter of fact loud vehicles, car stereos and motorcycles passing by gave him higher readings on his meter.
No offense, but did you hire those acoustical engineers from the National Association of the Deaf?

Also asking for "a friend."

User avatar
DColeKC
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1068
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by DColeKC »

Brodees wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:54 pm
DColeKC wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:04 pm

I did work with some acoustical engineers and the sound level in One Light from concerts wasn't an issue, matter of fact loud vehicles, car stereos and motorcycles passing by gave him higher readings on his meter.
No offense, but did you hire those acoustical engineers from the National Association of the Deaf?

Also asking for "a friend."
No, you see they have these fancy things called decibel meters and computer software with high end real time analysts microphones. Because what people consider being “loud” is subjective as hell and comical. Some people love the sound of downtown and others assume they have the right to 100% silence while they sleep.

flyingember
Mark Twain Tower
Mark Twain Tower
Posts: 9062
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by flyingember »

DColeKC wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:02 pm
Brodees wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:54 pm
DColeKC wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:04 pm

I did work with some acoustical engineers and the sound level in One Light from concerts wasn't an issue, matter of fact loud vehicles, car stereos and motorcycles passing by gave him higher readings on his meter.
No offense, but did you hire those acoustical engineers from the National Association of the Deaf?

Also asking for "a friend."
No, you see they have these fancy things called decibel meters and computer software with high end real time analysts microphones. Because what people consider being “loud” is subjective as hell and comical. Some people love the sound of downtown and others assume they have the right to 100% silence while they sleep.
And some people recognize that when a giant glass reflecting panel is built near a entertainment district that things need to change

User avatar
DColeKC
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1068
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Downtown Zoning

Post by DColeKC »

I’m not sure what could change? Realistically anyway.

Post Reply