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DRAFT NOISE ORDINANCE
After over two years of review and work by the Planning Commission, staff, and concerned members of the public, the draft Noise Ordinance was forwarded to the CBJ Law Department for resolution of the question of where federal government pre-emption of local regulation of noise created by interstate commerce ends, and where local regulation may begin, as this pertains to noises from barge operations, a common source of noise complaints in Juneau. This question remained unanswered for nearly two years, due to the complexity of the issues involved and a lack of court cases relevant to Juneau’s experience with barge freight, until the City Attorney John Hartle determined that noises from vehicles engaged in interstate commerce (such as forklifts and semi trucks) within Juneau’s “Commercial Zone”, which includes all of the borough, could only be measured by the same standards that the federal government measures such noises by: requiring approximately 27 pages of instructions and prohibitions against noise testing during windy, rainy, or even humid conditions, city staff determined that adopting the federal regulations into local code was unrealistic from an enforcement standpoint. Additionally, federal regulations prohibit running equipment mounted to vehicles during noise testing; forklifts, cement mixers, winches, and other such equipment are essentially exempted from noise regulation by federal law. Following this determination, Mayor Sanford directed the Law Department to draft a simpler ordinance that only amended the existing provisions of CBJ 42.20.095, Disturbing the Peace, and that did not address noises from specific land uses such as barge facilities with particularity.
Following that request, City Attorney John Hartle and Senior Planner Ben Lyman used details from the Planning Commission’s last draft ordinance, available below for the June 14, 2011 meeting, to set standards within CBJ 42.20.095 where none presently exist. The resulting draft ordinance was introduced to the Assembly on June 3, 2013, and will be up for consideration on June 24, 2013. Because the new shorter draft ordinance does not include any changes to the CBJ 49, the Land Use Code, city management determined that the current draft did not require Planning Commission review or recommendation to the Assembly.
Please submit comments on the current draft ordinance to the Assembly by one of the means below:
Please understand that all correspondence to the Assembly is an "open record" in accordance with the State of Alaska Public Records Act and becomes a public document. Please also note that the Assemblymembers cannot read or respond to constituent mail that involves any matter which is or may become the subject to an appeal before the Assembly.
All of the documents previously published for review are presented here to provide interested parties with the full record of this process.