Metro Park noise battle continues

Council, concert promoters, residents discuss proposed ordinance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The battle over noise in Metro Park continues, and the city is getting closer to finding common ground between residents and concert promoters.

On Monday, City Council members met with promoters and residents to discuss a proposed noise ordinance.

The Big Ticket Music Festival drew in thousands from all over Sunday afternoon. But with that great energy came some loud noise -- what those who live in neighborhoods near Metro Park say is too loud.

"Sound checks start early in the morning. It goes for eight hours," resident George Kruer said. "Last year we had a 30-hour concert. So it's not like you can just leave the house, go away for a while and come back."

The battle of the noise has been going on for quite some time. Now a proposed ordinance calls for better sound monitoring and violations. Some of the main points discussed Monday were about how.

The ordinance says sound should be keep at or below 105 decibels at the sound board. If sound monitoring does happen, it was asked that the cost not exceed $1,000 a day.

One question that remains is, if there is a violation, how would it be enforced and how much would it cost?

The concert promoters say for them it's all about coming to a reasonable agreement, but also say loud events are nothing new to the area.

"You have the Florida Country Superfest coming, which we support and we think it's great that a large event like that is coming to Jacksonville," concert promoter Mike Yokan said. "But that's going to be a loud event. It's going to be louder than our event. So we need to work to come to a reasonable standard."

Council members say making everyone happy is next to impossible in this situation. Once an ordinance is voted on and passed, it will work like a trial-and-error process.

"I hope that we get past it and we can see the impact of what our law might be," council President Bill Gulliford said. "Until we get that in place, we won't know if we did a good job or a not-so-good job."

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