Currently, downtown establishments can play music outdoors until 2.am. If the ordinance passes, downtown establishments will have to cut outdoor music off by 11 p.m. The curfew extends to 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
This ordinance specifically applies to downtown establishments that sell alcohol within the urban core and play "outdoor amplified sound". The urban core covers All Saints, Railroad Square, Collegetown, the Civic Center, Downtown, and other areas:
The ordinance will be heard and voted on this Wednesday, May 10th, at the City Commission meeting. Comments can be submitted in-person or virtually.
If three Commissioners vote in favor of the ordinance, it will pass. The Commission has 5 members: Mayor Dailey and Commissioners Richardson, Williams-Cox, Porter, and Matlow.
The ordinance will make it illegal for downtown establishments that sell alcohol (zoned Central Core and located within the Urban 4 Core) to play "outdoor amplified sound" 200 feet from the establishment, on Sunday to Thursday nights commencing at 11:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday nights commencing at midnight, until 7:00 a.m. the following morning.
- Amplified = speakers, loudspeakers, public address system, or mechanical or electronic device to transmit, produce, reproduce, increase, expand or amplify sound.
- Outdoor = the exterior of the establishment, including courtyards, patios, porches, sidewalks, driveways and any other outdoor space
Noise regulations were recently amended.
Rules around noise were last revised in 2021, in response to the recent rise of parking lot parties.
Now, it's being revised to address concerns from several residents and business owners who said the current ordinance is ineffective in the downtown and All Saints area, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
The draft for this ordinance was approved on March 22nd at the City Commission meeting, where several spoke about the draft ordinance. Members of the club community opposed the ordinance, saying it would result in a negative economic impact for businesses who rely on nightlife, like Potbelly's. While members of the local residential communities and hotels supported the ordinance and said it would allow them or their patrons to sleep without loud background noise.
What do you think? Should a college town have a noise ordinance? What could be done to present a policy solution that both sides are happy with?