Press Release Mar 9, 2014
Council, Mayor Vow to Control Dupont Circle Club Noise
DC Nightlife Noise Coalition
Contact: Sarah Peck, 443-240-4435
Mayor Vincent Gray and mayoral candidates Vincent Orange, Andy
Shallal, and Tommy Wells have recently informed the DC Nightlife Noise
Coalition that they favor enforcement of the DC Noise Control Act,
which requires nightclubs to contain their amplified sound.
At the annual Performance and Budget Oversight hearing conducted by the
DC Council on February 19, Palladium residents Sarah Peck, Abigail
Nichols, Melissa Stanley, and Tom McMahon testified that ABRA, DCRA,
and MPD are not enforcing the DC Noise Control Act. Councilman
Vincent Orange, Chair of the Committee on Business, Consumer and
Regulatory Affairs, offered his support for enforcement of the Act, and
offered to join the DC Nightlife Noise Coalition on a weekend night
visit to Club Central for a first-hand view. He said he hoped he
would not see the disturbing conditions described by Melissa Stanley.
At the same hearing, ABRA Director Moosally testified that the law
limits amplified sound levels to 60 decibels. He
acknowledged that the Noise Task Force has not visited the Club
Central Area despite resident complaints and has not issued citations
At the urging of Chairman Orange, Director Moosally made the following
commitments at the hearing: (1) ABRA will send a letter to all
licensees citywide explaining the law, including the 60 decibel limit;
(2) ABRA, in cooperation with other agencies, will enforce this law,
and (3) Moosally will keep the DC Nightlife Noise Coalition and the
Orange’s oversight committee informed on progress.
On February 20, Mayor Gray's chief of staff Chris Murphy wrote to the
Coalition to confirm that the Mayor is committed to enforcing the law:
"The Noise Task Force will be restarting its enforcement efforts in the
next several weeks and your neighborhood will be one of the primary
areas targeted to check whether licensed establishments are complying
with the District’s noise laws. Prior to the beginning of the Noise
Task Force’s enforcement efforts, licensed alcohol establishments will
be receiving a letter from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation
Administration advising them of (1) the District’s noise provisions
that they are required to follow and (2) that the multi-agency Noise
Task Force will be checking licensed establishments for compliance."
Abigail Nichols, ANC Commissioner from Ward 2 and resident of the
Palladium Condominiums said, “We are pleased that the Mayor and his
team are taking this issue seriously. We look forward to
confirmation that the ABRA letter to all licensees in the city has been
Sarah Peck, spokesman for the DC Nightlife Noise Coalition, said, “We
are pleased that Director Moosally plans to send a letter to citywide
licensees informing them of the law, but we wonder why this wasn’t done
sooner. And we continue to have questions about
enforcement. The current ABRA enforcement protocol doesn’t
work.” She said that she welcomes a chance to meet with Director
Moosally to discuss ways to improve enforcement.
The Coalition's efforts to work with local club owners to voluntarily
abate their sound is beginning to make a difference in Club
Central. Residents of Jefferson Place Condominiums recently wrote
to ANC Ward 2 Commissioners, "The outdoor club noise has virtually
ceased so clearly operators are getting the message. We hope they
continue to comply."
The Coalition is also reaching out to other mayoral candidates.
At the mayoral “un-forum” at UDC law school on March 2, candidates Andy
Shallal and Tommy Wells told Sarah Peck they would enforce the DC Noise
Control Act if elected mayor. When informed that nightclubs are
playing dance music at full volume on roofdecks, Shallal, the owner of
Busboys and Poets, exclaimed, "That's illegal!"
On March 10, concerned residents can learn about the District’s plan to
reduce violence and noise associated with nightclubs, taverns, and
bars. At the Embassy Row Hotel, 2020 Massachusetts Avenue, at 7
pm, the ANC will host a neighborhood discussion on public safety.
The focus is violent crime south of Dupont Circle but ABRA Director
Moosally will also report on ABRA plans to enforce the DC
Noise Control Act. The public and the press are invited to attend.
For information about the DC Nightlife Noise Coalition and a summary of
DC's law that requires nightclubs to contain amplified sound, visit
enjoy the music
let the family sleep