DC Nightlife Noise
Spotlight on Officials
Action at last.
Feb 20. Mayor
the Palladium residents
that No one should be forced to
sustained noise in excess of what the law allows.
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.
We thank the mayor for hearing our demand for enforcement and we ask if
the other candidates will equally commit to enforcement of DC laws.
February 19, a panel of residents of the Palladium provided
public testimony at the annual Performance and Budget Oversight hearing
held by the DC Council on the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation
Administration. We expressed concern to the
Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs chaired by
Vincent Orange that ABRA, DCRA and MPD are not enforcing the DC Noise
Control Act. Later during agency testimony in response to
Chairman Orange's questioning, ABRA Director Moosally admitted the law
does limit amplified sound levels to 60 decibels or below. He
also admitted that the Noise Task Force has not visited the Club
Central Area despite our complaints and has not issued citations for
At the urging of Orange, Director Moosally made the following
commitments at the hearing: (1) a letter will be sent 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 with keep the DC Nightlife Noise Coalition and the
Oversight Committee informed on progress.
The DC Nightlife Noise Coalition is pleased with this result.
Sarah Peck met with Moosally after the hearing and offered to serve as
a resource to ensure effective enforcement. Committee Chair Orange said
he would visit Club
early one Saturday morning for a first hand view, and said he hoped he
would not see the conditions described by Melissa Stanley.
On Feb 3, 2014 we met for two hours with Fred Moosally,
Director of ABRA to deliver a letter
that demands immediate enforcement
the DC Noise Laws and ABRA noise rules in the Club Central area.
- Jim King, President of the Palldium Condominiums
- Ramon Estrada, President of the Dupont Circle Citizens
- Robin Diener, chair of the DCCA Regulatory Committee
- Steve Coniglio, developer of
the N Street Ventures condominiums project
- Abigail Nichols
- Carl Nelson
From ABRA were:
- Jonathan Berman, General Counsel
- Keith Gethers, enforcement agent
A press release to be published
by the Nightlife Noise Coalition reports that Participants left the ABRA meeting
heartened by Moosally’s promise of action including interagency
cooperaton on enforcement.
Additionally, Moosally recognized the reality that a rising city
population is demanding new housing in the city center, a demand that
will also increase the number of residents demanding peace, order, and
quiet from alcohol establishments.
On Jan 7, 2014 we
met with 2d District Police Commander Michael Reese and Asst DC
Attorney General Rashee Kumar. We thank them for meeting with us. We
reminded Commander Reese that the law expressly authorizes MPD officers
to go straight to the source of the sound to investigate. Police are
authorized to order sound to be lowered, or to issue warnings or
citations if, in their judgment, a club is producing noise that exceeds
the maximum limit or that constitutes a noise disturbance.
A few days later Commander Reese called to say that noise was not a
police matter, but was in the realm of DCRA and ABRA.