City Council Draft Agenda

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Meeting Date: 09/21/2021  
From: Frank Higgins, Deputy Police Chief

Consideration and Adoption of Resolution No. 2021-43 and Ordinance No. 2021-21:  A resolution of the Flagstaff City Council declaring as a public record that certain document filed with the City Clerk and entitled "Nuisance Noise Code Amendments;" and an ordinance of the City Council of the City of Flagstaff, amending the Flagstaff City Code, Title 6, Police Regulations, Chapter 6-08, Noise Control, by adopting by reference that certain document entitled "Nuisance Noise Code Amendments;" providing for penalties, repeal of conflicting ordinances, severability, and establishing an effective date
At the September 21, 2021 Council Meeting:
1) Read Resolution No. 2021-43 by title only
2) City Clerk Reads Resolution No. 2021-43 by title only (if approved above)
3) Read Ordinance No. 2021-21 by title only for the first time
4) City Clerk reads Ordinance No. 2021-21 by title only (if approved above)
At the October 2, 2021 Council Meeting:
5) Adopt Resolution No. 2021-43
6) Read Ordinance No. 2021-21 by title only for the final time
7) City Clerk reads Ordinance No. 2021-21 by title only (if approved above)
8) Adopt Ordinance No. 2021-21
Executive Summary:
In October of 2019, a Flagstaff resident emailed the Mayor and Council to express his concerns about unnecessary noise pollution. The resident specifically pointed out a concern about vehicles equipped with “intentionally loud automobile mufflers” and went on to say “I can't count the number of times that I have been assaulted by blasts of noise from cars spewing their deep and threatening engine vibrato.  Their abuse can be heard, even felt, from blocks away”.
This email was followed up by a petition to the Flagstaff City Council containing 29 signatures titled “Intentional Noise Pollution”. This petition requested the city council consider the effects of noise pollution on the quality of life in Flagstaff. It asks the council to address the unnecessary noise created when drivers intentionally modify a vehicle for the sole purpose of increasing their noise footprint.
These concerns were presented to council during the June 1, 2021, regular council meeting. After the presentation the council voted to have an ordinance drafted to address nuisance noise.

Since that time citizens have additionally expressed concerns both to the Flagstaff Police Department and the Flagstaff City Council about loud noise emanating from businesses and causing disturbances in residential neighborhoods.  This proposed ordinance not only addresses vehicle noise, it also addresses nuisance noise in residential, business, and commercial zones. It will be a valuable tool in addressing nuisance noise complaints  and provide for an objective means to measure the noise to determine if there is a violation.
Since that time, staff from the Police Department, as well as the City Attorney’s Office, have looked at several nuisance noise ordinances from municipalities in Arizona. Most municipalities have ordinances restricting nuisance noise in certain zoning districts to a specific decibel level during specific daytime and nighttime hours. There are similar restrictions for vehicle noise, dependent on weight and speed of the offending vehicle. These ordinances were used as a basic template to create the attached draft ordinance.
Financial Impact:
If the council approves the amendments to City Code 6-08-01-02, there will be a need to purchase the proper sound level meters necessary for enforcement. In addition, enforcement personnel will need to attend the necessary training to become certified in the meter’s use. Certification, and continued recertification, in the use of a class 1 decibel meter would be necessary for the police officer, or code enforcement officer, to testify in court.

The City would have to purchase one or more Class 1 sound level meters. Class 1 sound level meters cost several hundred dollars each. Each sound level meter would need to be calibrated on a regular basis according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This will create an additional ongoing cost.
Each person operating the sound level meter for enforcement would need to receive initial training/certification, and continued recertification, prior to its use. Currently, a five-day Community Noise Enforcement Certification Course is offered by Rutgers at the Rutgers Noise Technical Assistance Center (RNTAC). This training is offered in a Webex (online) format. The cost for attending the certification training is $625. The recertification class, which is required every 24 months, is $325.
Additional information can be found at:
Currently, there is no money budgeted for purchase of the class 1 decibel meter(s) or the required training. A budget request will need to be made to cover the cost of equipment and training for enforcement of this ordinance.
Policy Impact:
This ordinance will replace the existing nuisance noise ordinance.
Connection to PBB Key Community Priorities/Objectives & Regional Plan:
Priority Based Budget Key Community Priorities and Objectives
Provide public safety with the resources, staff, and training to respond to community needs 
Foster a safe, secure, and healthy community

Regional Plan
Goal E&C.8. Maintain areas of natural quiet and reduce noise pollution.
Goal NH.1. Foster and maintain healthy and diverse urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the Flagstaff region.
Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:
This matter was initially presented to the council on June 1, 2021.
Res. 2021-43
Nuisance Noise Code Amendments
Ord. 2021-21


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