City considers changing noise ordinance, extending outdoor concerts hours; public hearing scheduled before council vote

The Snoqualmie City Council will take public comment at a public hearing on July 10th at 7PM regarding a potential amendment to the current noise ordinance that would give a seasonal exemption to noise limitations for musical and other events sponsored by downtown and Snoqualmie Ridge businesses.

The council is also scheduled to vote on the ordinance amendment later that night during the July 10th city council meeting.

If passed, events such as live outdoor music could continue until 11PM on Friday and Saturday nights instead of the current allowable time of 10PM.  The new allowable time would not be yearlong, runing from the Friday before Memorial Day through the Friday of Labor Day Weekend.

Some downtown residents are opposed to the amendment, saying 10PM is late enough for loud music that travels through the downtown area from outdoor concerts.

You can views the proposed ordinance amendment language HERE.

Verbal comments can be made at the hearing. Written comments may be submitted no later than July 10, 2017 at 5PM to Mark Hofman, Director of Community Development, City of Snoqualmie, PO Box 987, Snoqualmie, WA 98065 or mhofman@ci.snoqualmie.wa.us.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Residents need to pay attention to this noise ordinance change. Here are the facts: This extension of loud music to be played within our city would be extended from 10 pm to 11 pm every Friday and Saturday night from May to September. What is not being mentioned is the Mill Site expansion is proposing a 5,000 seat outdoor concert venue that is approximately five times larger than the current Snoqualmie Casino outdoor concert venue. I confirmed with the casino that the average outdoor concert seats approximately 1,000 people, yet can go higher. Again, the proposed 5,000 outdoor concert venue which will be at the bottom of the Snoqualmie parkway and across the river near the mill pond will be very loud. I have attended two city meeting regarding this issue: one planning commission meeting and the June 26tht city council meeting. Heather Munden expressed concern and suggested a decibel limit be put in place. At the city council meeting I suggested a decibel limit be in place due to Heather not being present, yet Mayor Larson and other council members were opposed to this idea. This amended ordinance has no decibel limit in place and knowing how sound echoes through our valley, residents should be very concerned. Why is the city spending thousands of dollars on notifying residents by mail and not mentioning the proposed 5,000 seat outdoor concert venue that many residents have already expressed opposition to? Could this be a way to cater to a developer before a potential new city council is elected to office? What is the rush council and Mayor? Please read the linked ordinance and see that no decibel limit is included and I believe the Form Base Mixed Use District will fall under the proposed Mill Site Development project. This site is contaminated with PCBs, Toxic Coal dust and other hazardous materials. This is why the developer is proposing an outdoor concert venue due to lack of options to build on this site. The city loves the tax revenue potential. Yet residents need to consider the late night noise which will echo throughout the valley and up toward the Ridge development throughout our best weather months.. I also have concerns regarding heavy traffic and drivers that may be under the influence being on our roads. Lastly, the natural wildlife that currently resides in the forest and nests in the trees will also be heavily impacted by this large noisy concert venue. I do not understand why is the city in such a rush to pass this extended time ordinance. Several residents have already expressed their concern regarding the Mill Site 5,000 person outdoor concert venue. Yet,this is how the city is responding to resident concerns. This is one of many reason why I am running for city council. For more information please visit: snoqualmie1st.com. I also highly suggest residents express their concerns to the current city council and mayor and attend the 7pm city council meeting July 10th if possible. They plan to hear public concern the same night they plan to vote this in or out. Your input is imperative! Thank you, Monica Lowney- City Council Candidate Position 6

    • Danna McCall says:

      All good points, Monica. I wanted to add that in a presentation about the Mill Site, by the developer, at the last Snoqualmie Valley Chamber Luncheon (I believe you were there, too), he stated they are reexamining the amphitheater component at the Mill Site because he realized that many in the community were opposed to music echoing across the Valley. He said they were going to examine different options and that nothing was certain. Also, nowhere in his presentation did he say he was proposing 5,000 seat amphitheater. Not sure where that number came from. You should reach out to Tom Strouffe – the developer – to get the most accurate information to share with the public as you are running for office. He’s very accessible. Also, it is my understanding the Mill Site developer had nothing to do with proposing the change to this ordinance. It was proposed by one downtown business owner who has regular outdoor concert at their small establishment. It feels like you’re trying to create fear and conspiracy here when there doesn’t seem to be once you look at all the facts.

  2. Thanks for your response Dana. I have had direct conversations with Tom Stroufe and the outdoor concert venue is very much so a big part of the current plan.The 5,000 seat capacity was discussed at the Mill Site Open House presentation on May 23rd at city hall, which I do not recall seeing you there. However the June 28th chamber presentation was totally different and watered down compared to the city open house version. The May 23rd presentation is available on the snoqualmie1st.com website under issues then mill site.
    For example the huge trucking distribution facility was not a large part of the Chamber presentation as it was at the May 23rd meeting. Seventeen residents verbally spoke at the May 23rd meeting and noise from the amphitheater was a huge concern as well as traffic. What Tom did mention at the Chamber luncheon is they may adjust the size of the outdoor concert venue if required to do so by the EIS aka; Environmental Impact Study. Yet, to residents whether it is 5,000 seats, 3,500 seats or 2,500 seats it will still be very loud and invasive. We only have a few nice months of weather each year and people would like to enjoy their weekend evenings. There absolutely should be decibel limits in this ordinance and there is not, this is a fact. If the owner of the Bindlestick would like to have music downtown for an extra hour that is one issue. However, most would agree that an outdoor amphitheater designed to attract out of town tourists in large numbers, is another issue. This ordinance would treat both scenarios equally and they are not equal.
    I simply believe citizens should be informed of the facts so they have a chance to have a voice. Pushing this noise ordinance through so quickly knowing residents are traveling for the 4th of July and very little has been discussed or printed publically in my view is non-transparent. The council should hear resident concerns on July 10th then discuss concerns and vote at a later date not the same night. Many residents are not aware of the outdoor amphitheater.
    Due to the fact the site is contaminated with hazardous materials, the project is limited in scope yet needs an anchor to bring in the tourist. An outdoor amphitheater is the anchor in addition to 30 wineries and several brew pubs. Residents are not sure they want this in their peaceful community and should have an appropriate amount of time to respond. Notices were just mailed to residents and a vote is already taking place in three days. This does not seem right to me and I believe it is why so many are frustrated with our current city leadership. I hope to see you at the 7 pm July 10th council meeting at city hall so you can witness verbal citizen input. Thank you,.
    Monica Lowney- Candidate for City Council Position 6

  3. I spoke to Tom Stroufe at the chamber of commerce gathering before he made his presentation, and asked him about the amphitheater, and he is still considering it despite the opposition to the amphitheater because they want something that will be a regional draw for the site.
    http://www.valleyrecord.com/letters/amphitheater-at-mill-site-must-be-prevented-letter/
    is a letter to the editor who also mentions the 3,700 to 5,000 seat amphitheater, with a link to http://snoqualmiemill.com/site-plan/ – the developer’s plans for the site – where the amphitheater is mentioned a number of times. 5,000 will be 2.5 times the size of Snoqualmie Casino’s seating. Currently the website doesn’t mention the seating capacity, but it does mention 3.7 acres for the amphitheater.

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