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Youngstown to events: Shhhh after 11 p.m.



Published: Fri, August 30, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

Ordinance enforcement prompted by complaint about music downtown

By GUY D’ASTOLFO

dastolfo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Because police have begun receiving complaints from downtown residents about noise, the organizers of outdoor music events in the city are now being told to pull the plug by 11 p.m.

Ordinances that prohibit excessive noise in public have been on the books for decades, but not strictly enforced. In the past month, however, city officials began informing event organizers of the 11 p.m. music curfew.

Live music has been a regular part of downtown events for years, but noise had never been an issue. But in recent years, the downtown area has seen an influx of full-time residents — a byproduct of the center city’s rebirth as an entertainment and cultural center.

Anthony Farris, city law direc- tor, explained why noise ordinances are suddenly being enforced at outdoor events.

“There was a complaint from a downtown resident about music playing too late at a downtown event,” Farris said. “I don’t know which event. The [police] chief then set out to make sure the operators of subsequent events were aware of the ordinance.”

Farris said that while the noise ordinances have not changed, more of an effort is now being made to relay the requirements to individuals or entities seeking permits for events.

Several city ordinances deal with loud music and other sounds, but the one that specifically references an 11 p.m. curfew is section 509.10 of the Youngstown Code, according to Farris.

“The ordinance has been on the books for years,” said Police Chief Rod Foley. “We began recently having complaints from tenants residing downtown that these outdoor concerts have been excessively loud. Therefore, we [began to remind] individuals requesting permits of the ordinance requirements.”

The Vexfest rock festival Aug. 11 was among the first to be told to abide by the deadline. In past years, bands at Vexfest played outdoors until well after midnight.

Organizers of the Pabstolutely festival, which will be Sept. 7 at the Royal Oaks bar on the near East Side, also have been told that outdoor music must end by 11 p.m.

Last Saturday’s Arab-American Festival, downtown, also received a similar notice from the city.

City Councilwoman Annie Gillam, whose district includes both downtown and the Royal Oaks, said that she has heard no noise complaints. She added that if the city is enforcing the noise ordinance, it must be across the board for all events in all parts of the city.

Other downtown events in recent weeks that featured live music after 11 p.m. included the July 27 concert headlined by hip-hop star Juicy J on East Federal Street, and the Party on the Plaza events on Central Square on July 19 and Aug. 16. The final Party on the Plaza of the year will be tonight, but instead of a live band after 11 p.m., it will have a karaoke-type show.

The Greater Youngstown Italian Festival was Aug. 2-4, and the Spanish Heritage Festival was Aug. 17-18. Both events were downtown, but neither featured live music after 11 p.m.


Comments

1author50(1121 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Forcing everything inside to the Covelli Centre.

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2gdog4766(1385 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Somebody connected that these people bow down to must have moved downtown. People have lived downtown and there have been events there for years with no complaints. Now higher end apartments have been built so these flunkie city officials are being slapped around. Way to show you gotta pair. I quess that backhand slap across your mouth was getting to sting too much! Do as your told boy!

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3walter_sobchak(1831 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

So, for 3 or 4 months per year, the weather is nice enough to be outside but some people can't have loud music after 11:00pm on a weekend. Maybe it was just Vexfest music. But, the laugher is that anyone in the neighborhhood of the Royal Oaks would complain. 11:00 pm is about the time whatever is left in that area gets rolling.

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4peggygurney(391 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Downtown Youngstown is now becoming a residential neighborhood as well as a business district. That being the case, the noise ordinance should apply to downtown Yo as it does in any other residential neighborhood.

If more than a few people have complained about the late night noise, then the city IS justified it enforcing the law. It is not a new law. The noise ordinance has been on the books for years. Only now we have a police chief with the backbone to enforce it. Good on you, Chief Foley.

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5RustOnMyBelt(112 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

YO have got to be kidding me.Its (the music) is a sign of resurging economy.People are spending expendable incomes IN THE CITY. If anyone decides to live there, they ought to know this might happen on a beautiful Summer weekend evening and ,at least, TRY to sleep with a smile on their face in the knowledge that it isn't gunfire or a fracking well keeping them up !

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6123goz(505 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought the great idea of downtown living was about all the action. So these people are like the ones that moved next to the old Canfield speedway, then complained about noise, or the ones that move in next to a woodland and complain the deer are eating the flowers.

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7gdog4766(1385 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

These people complaining about this music would be like someone moving In next to an airport then complaining about the planes.

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8hurrdurr(98 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Mack's makes excellent foam ear plugs for sleeping and/or quiet time. That said, there is no way the music at any of these events even remotely gets to the point of the high decibel stuff pumped in at major arenas and outdoor venues. At Party on the Plaza, you can step away from the stage and have a conversation with someone without screaming. It's not that loud and I would assume that people who live downtown aren't keeping their windows open. If they are, well what's to say that normal city sounds wouldn't keep you awake either.

It's not like these events are every weekend. We have three months where we can hold proper outdoor events. That's it. There's nine months of peace and quiet. Change the ordinance. Push it to 1 or 2 a.m. (on Friday and Saturday nights) and be done with it.

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9southsidedave(4777 comments)posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago

You either want people downtown or you don't....if there are people, there will be noise...go to a real city and experience the noise levels there...Ytown is a joke again.

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