Oct 5. Complaints about the Sunday evening enforcement-free music
assault at least drew a police officer to a nearby residence where he
proclaimed that businesses can make all the noise they want in the
commercial zone. So, Sunday night noise law enforcement has two
agencies asleep and the police misinformed about the law.
Oct 1. Stop the Music,
said the ABC Board in denying nightclub Ozio's motion for
reconsideration of its ruling against Ozio's roofdeck's dumping loud
music into the nearby residences. To make even clearer its
intent, it greatly expanded the legal arguments for its position on
noise disturbances. The principle is clear: residents are
entitled by law to peace, order, and quiet in their homes. Of course, a
ruling has little effect unless it is enforced, and recent resident
complaints about continued loud pounding music, especially on Sunday
nights, are still falling on deaf ears. Read the Board Order.
Sep 24. ABC Board denied a
bar's application for patron-related disturbance of the
residential neighborhood, even without an entertainment
endorsement. Saloon45 at
18th & Swann St
could not overcome the testimony of residents and ANC2B of the
disturbances from Bar Charley next door which has basically the same
operation plan plus a full kitchen.The Board also said that the
applicant did not make an appropriate case for appropriateness.
Two differences between this case and the Club Central clubs are
active support of the residents by Councilmember Jack Evans and ANC2B's
chair Will Stephens. If
south Dupont residents had that kind of backup, the Club Central
nightclubs would never pass the appropriateness test, especially after
endless loud music until 3-4AM is added to the Saloon45-like
disturbance. Read the
Sep 17. 18th St Lounge and the residents of Jefferson Row and
Palladium condominiums reached a Settlement Agreement to contain the
loud outdoor low frequency music in a way that ABRA enforcement does
not depend on sound level measurements. 18th St invested in enough
acoustical engineering and sound absorbing surfaces to contain all
their music within 75 feet of the business. Such an agreement is
a big step in letting the music flow on the
roofdeck while the nearby residents sleep. The whole situation
still needs ABRA, the ABC Board and the District Council to recognize
the difficulty of enforcing DC noise laws in the presence of multiple
sources among which residents could not well distinguish a particular
source that disturbs them and the reluctance of ABRA to abandon its
model of a noise source in a sea of silence, in this case six sources
each wanting to blame the others for the excess noise. Kudos to
owner Farid Nouri for respecting the residents and the
-------- Earlier News items, full stories in News
and Views. -----------
Sep 15. Necessary protest.
Dupont residents filed a
against the Sauf Haus license in the face of a large outdoor
roof deck as a temptation to Sauf
Haus's joining the other six bars with roofdecks in pounding out 100 dB
music during sleeping hours.
Sep 10 Nightclub
Dupont Current editorial ...
the board wisely sided with nearby Jefferson Row condo
owners. ... keep the Ozio roof closed when the club
bans amplified sounds that can be heard inside a residence.
... But the board’s order already accommodates more noise from
city law allows near residentially zoned areas. ... More will be
needed, though, .... more
government involvement in noise issues.
Aug 27, 2014
ABC Board ruled that Ozio nightclub must not
disturb the neighbors. Must allow no live
bands on its roof, close the roof when entertainment is playing,
generate no amplified sound that can be heard in neighbors'
the Board Order.
The decision helps neighbors of nightclubs with outdoor amplified music
deal with the many clubs throughout DC that want to give patrons
both ear-splitting music and outdoor fresh air
and moonlight. Ozio will appeal, reports Perry Stein
in City Paper.
Aug 25. CityPaper article by
Perry Stein After Residents
Complain, Dupont’s Ozio
Forced to Limit Music on Its Roof
Aug 13. Residents lose. ABC
Board board threw out the resident's noise measurement because it
was not done by licensed acoustics engineer with professional sound
meter, and said establishment cannot be unreasonable if a licensee has
taken commercially reasonable steps to soundproof Read
the Board's Order.
Jun 25. New residents to
encroach on existing noisy
nightclubs. A new building at 13th & U NW feeds the argument
made by alcohol biz that
neighbors should live somewhere else which is being continually ignored
failure to enforce existing
happens wherever political forces favor business operators.[quotes
John Taylor, American Economic Review, May 2014]
May 18. Residents
of the Palladium complain in vain. electronic ABRA
complaint fails and call to 311 produced only a
Albert Einstein once declared, "Nothing
is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the
land than passing laws which cannot be enforced."
May 11. Adams
Commissioner Guthrie tells ABC Board “The regulatory
bodies that should be in our neighborhood have been falling short —
May 8. Dupont residents made a settlement agreement for
and quiet with Rosebar on noise (music). Rosebar keeps the loud
music it wants inside with excellent sound absorbing walls and downward
aiming the sub-woofers. Sound tests established the maximum loudness
inside that would not be heard outside at the intersection of St
Matthews Court (a.k.a. the alley) and N Street where seventy new
"luxury" condos are being built.
May 8. self-identified blogger Frymaster:
there may, in fact, be an
but handheld SPL meters on the sidewalk won’t find it. ... It’s the bass! Pro sound systems have
the past 20 years, modern, top-level professional subwoofers can
reproduce the lowest octaves with far greater power than ever
before. lying in a bed in a quiet apartment, even 50dB
of 40 Hz at 120 BPM is gonna annoy the crap out of you.
May 5. Sarah and Abigail testified at the Council Committee
on ABRA's Budget that
new enforcement is needed, and recommended that ABRA be authorized to
study the sound propogation of loud bass-dominated from the nightlclub
scene into the residential areas.
Apr 28. Noise Task Force
reported noise in one of fifty tests in Club Central in its
weeks. But the Dupont residents found about 49 out of fifty in
violation. The residents did note that the volume of
offensive music has substantially decreased lately.
Apr 21. A deal - Midtown and
Dirty Martini (with common
Michael Romeo) made a Settlement Agreement with the Palladium
to limit the noisy music from the roofdecks. Needs ABRA review.
Apr 13. Early Sunday
boom music from Dirty Martini. See two videos:
1. walking down the alley
from N Street, and 2. phoning
ABRA with the music playing behind the bar.
Apr 11. Dupont Circle
Citizens Association passed a
of support for the coalition.
Apr 10. Dirty Martini
protest hearing bans sound measurements.
So, the residents had to rely a broader provision of
the law of a number-free "noise disturbance."
Apr 7. ABRA issued an
advisory letter that
permits settlement agreements without protest. Letter to Cleveland Park
Apr 6. Dirty Martini pounds out the music early Sunday night
disturb Palladium sleep. Video clips of propagation of 87dB music
playing in Dirty Martini roofdeck: 1. in the alley behind the club;
2. 50 feet in the alley from
the club rear ; 3. alley
opening onto N Street; 4. approaching club streetside
entrance. Resident Peck notified police and ABRA; 911 agreed
to dispatch an investigation unit.
Mar 26. Press release : CM Orange Witnesses Noise
from Dupont Circle
Mar 26. Washington City Paper article by Perry Stein. Dupont Circle Citizens Take
on Loud Nightclubs, One Decibel Reading at a Time.
Mar 21. Press
Release on Hearing ABRA
Hearing Lasts 7 Hours in Dupont Circle Protest
Mar 19. ABRA
Protest hearing on re-issuance of license for Ozio
nightlcub. Protestants from Palladium Condominiums ask for a mandate to
contain the music.
Mar 17. InTowner article Newly
Formed Neighborhood Group Seeks Ways to Curb Excessive Nightclub
by Ben Lasky
Mar 16. An anonymous DC citizen wrote the
Director of ABRA, .... If
nightclubs keep the noise indoors, no one will know or care. ...
Mar 16. DCist blog Restaurant,
Bar Noise Crack Down Commences
Mar 16. Noticeably
less noisy. Club Central had
lower dB readings early this AM as the Noise Task Force starts its
newly re-committed work.
Mar 14. Shhhhhhh!
a D.C. Bar! by Perry Stein in Washington City Paper blogs on
Noise Coalition's pressing the city noise checkers into active
investigation. Sarah Peck was quoted: I
don't know whether it's all show, or whether it will be a true
enforcement, we will be watching and consulting.
Mar 12. Press release by ABRA ABRA Kicks Off
Campaign on Noise Laws
ABRA fingers DCRA
ABRA investigator supervisor answers noise enforcement challenge with
"That's a DCRA
Director Moosally sent a letter
all licensees that the Noise
Task Force will be conducting noise level checks outside
establishments in the coming months against a standard of 60dB(A) limit
on sound emissions.
New noise enforcement action.
Fred Moosally outlined new noise enforcement
noise checks. The
nightclubs spoke up, mostly through the head of the Nightlife
Promises, Mayor Gray, DC
Officials Still Not Enforcing Noise Law in Dupont Circle
The DC Nightlife Noise
Coalition walked Club Central on
Saturday night, March 8, Recorded
disturbing levels of amplified sound emanating from local night
clubs. For the complete story, read our press release March 9.
Central noise sources map
shows that two major sources power the disturbances felt by the
residents. The cross-hatched boxes are clubs contributing to
late-night noise. Public bar was not cross-hatched because our
inspection of that club showed that they were containing the interior
noise. Ozio was not cross-hatched at the time the
created but has since proved to also be a source. The large black dots
are the two points that act essentially as generators of noise
nearby residences. [created by Sarah Peck]
Mar 5. Press Release:
Council, Mayor Vow to Control Dupont Circle Club Noise
office told Palladium residents that No one should be
sustained noise in excess of what the law allows.
Testifiers. February 19, four
testified at the annual ABRA Oversight
hearing. We expressed concern that ABRA, DCRA and MPD are not
enforcing the DC Noise
Control Act. 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
Residents of the Palladium Condominium, located in Dupont
published a White Paper by Sarah Peck, “The
Enforcement of the DC Noise Ordinance To Control Nightclub
Noise.” The Paper presents noise data showing
the Club Central area -- the 1200 blocks of 18th Street and Connecticut
Avenue -- are exceeding the statutory limit for amplified
noise. The Paper also urges the Mayor to (1)
support for the enforcement of the Noise Control Act; (2) appoint an
ombudsman to work with residents adversely affected by night club noise
and to advise the Mayor; (3) improve enforcement of the law by DCRA,
ABRA, and police; (4) revise applicable regulations to prohibit outdoor
amplified music by commercial establishments in residential areas.
Comments should be directed to Sarah Peck at
Seneca's letter to Lucilius. (Seneca letter 56.1-2)