ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
71°
Few Clouds
H 89° L 65°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    71°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 89° L 65°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    82°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 89° L 65°
  • clear-night
    66°
    Morning
    Clear. H 87° L 68°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Changes aim to quiet noise about Met Park
Close

Changes aim to quiet noise about Met Park

Changes aim to quiet noise about Met Park
Photo Credit: Stephanie Brown
Mitt Romney made a campaign stop in Metro Park in Jacksonville on 10/31

Changes aim to quiet noise about Met Park

Nearly a year in the making, Jacksonville’s ad hoc committee studying noise concerns for special events at Met Park thinks it has a temporary solution- and that will see a vote this week.

“We’ve got to strike a reasonable balance between the two sides, that’s all you can hope to do,” says Council President Bill Gulliford.

The “two sides” at odds in this case are concert promoters/organizers and residents in neighborhoods near Met Park.  Those residents, led largely by people who live in St. Nicholas, had concerns over the volume and duration of noise that comes from 12 ticketed events the city holds in Met Park every year, including concerts like “The Big Ticket”.

“Other cities were setting limits, we were not,” says Councilman Don Redman, who represents St. Nicholas and also served on the ad hoc committee.

Concert promoters, however, argue that the limits the city wanted to initially set were arbitrary. Additionally, they believed too many restrictions would drive away some of the big talent they try to bring in, which would in turn send all the related revenue from the event- like hotel money from those who come to town for the concert- to other cities.

The bill crafted by Councilwoman Lori Boyer, with the consent of the ad hoc committee, does set noise limits in a few ways. Redman says they monitored noise levels at a few recent big events for which they placed no restrictions, and decided on the new limit based on those results.

“It’s not restricting any more than what those events put out,” he says.

While the noise level shouldn’t be a problem now, he says the events will likely have to adjust bass levels that nearby residents say cause their walls to shake. A concert can get around these levels as measured at the event itself by using sound equipment and techniques that keep the noise from directing across the river.

Other rules in this bill govern how many additional stages can be built, what direction they can face, and what hours the events can take place.

The more contentious area, for Gulliford, is the penalty system that would be put in place. The event would have to give a $10,000 deposit to the city which will be fully reimbursed after the event if there are no noise violations or one violation, which only leads to a warning. The second violation results in a $1,000 deduction from the deposit, and three subsequent warnings cost the event $3,000 each. If, after the fifth warning, the noise levels are still not adjusted to meet regulations, the city has the right to pull the plug on the event.

“I’m concerned about the reality of the impact of pulling the plug in the middle of a concert,” he says.

Gulliford goes so far as to say it could cause behavioral problems among the crowd, which could result in a riot. He says it would also likely lead to demands for refunds, which would cost the event money and lead to a lot of frustration for promoters who may then not want to work with the city in the future.

He says the bill also includes an inherent double standard, because noise levels at EverBank Field are exempt.

“It’s important, making sure that the standards that we set for noise are consistent across the board,” Gulliford says.

Many nearby residents are not concerned about Jaguar games at EverBank Field, because they say the noise lasts for a shorter duration of time and does not travel as easily across the river. While Gulliford says he’s not trying to lump Jaguars games in, he’s concerned about events comparable to what they would host at Met Park, like the upcoming Country Superfest.

“Noise is still noise,” he says.

If that concert is not held to the same standard as a concert at Met Park, he says there will likely be a lot of complaints and questions coming from event organizers.

“I just want to make sure this thing doesn’t come back to haunt us down the road,” he says.

City Council is set to vote on this bill on Tuesday night. If passed, it would take effect as soon as the Mayor signs it or the timeframe for the bill to become law without his signature passes. These changes would be in effect through September 30, 2014 unless the Council votes at a later date to extend or expire the bill. The legislation does not indicate what would happen after the bill expires.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Officers opened fire on a woman on U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday morning after she nearly ran over multiple U.S. Capitol Police officers while fleeing from a traffic stop, authorities said. >> Read more trending stories No injuries were reported. Officers spotted a woman driving erratically around 9 a.m. on Independence Avenue and attempted to stop her car, Capitol police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said. The unidentified woman made a U-turn and fled. She stopped the sedan near the intersection of Washington and Independence avenues, where authorities apparently fired shots at the woman. Malecki declined to say where the bullets landed or how many shots were fired. The incident did not appear to be related to terrorism. “This appears to be criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism,” Malecki said.
  • A North Carolina county could be in major violation of HIPAA laws after mistakenly releasing hundreds of patients’ private medical records to a Charlotte TV station that was investigating a medical story. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, was enacted in 1996 to ensure patient privacy rights. >> Read more trending news Mecklenburg County manager Dena Diorio revealed Tuesday afternoon that the county mistakenly released the private medical records of some 1,200 patients to the media. The county attorney confirmed patient health information was compromised.  'I'm absolutely speechless with anger at how something like this could happen,' Diorio said. Channel 9 had requested public records related to the county's failure to notify nearly 200 women about abnormal Pap smear results.  While WSOC-TV received that information Monday, the county also mistakenly included detailed medical history about hundreds of patients. The information included an Excel spreadsheets documenting the patients’ full names, addresses and dates of visits.  For some patients it also included a detailed description of why they visited and what services they received. Diorio said the information should not have been in spreadsheets in the email and the practice of putting medical information in Excel sheets will end immediately. Diorio said she believes the release is a category 2 HIPAA violation with a minimum fine of $1,000 per violation up to $50,000. A county worker collected the records Tuesday morning from WSOC.  “We do everything we can to protect the personal information for all of our patients,” Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said. “In this particular instance, the checks and balances were not completely followed and we had a lapse.' Diorio said an IT staffer mistakenly included the information in the public records request. She also said no one checked the file before it was released. >> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here “This was a person who works in our IT security area so it’s not as if everybody has access to this information,” she said. It’s unclear if the hundreds of patients will be notified about the information leak. Diorio is planning to discuss the next steps with the county attorney on Tuesday.   >> Click here to read the full story.
  • A woman has a warning for people who use the changing rooms at a Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, mall. Heather Lapinski said that while she was trying on bathing suits at Macy’s in the Mall at Robinson, she noticed a cellphone under the door. She grabbed it, but a man’s hand grabbed it back.  >> Read more trending news By the time she was able to exit the dressing room, the man was gone. “I got ahold of it and a man's hand came down and grabbed it. I couldn’t scream. I was in so much shock,” Lapinski said. “I was crying. I didn't have my top on (and) I’m not running out completely naked.” By the time she was able to exit the dressing room, the man was gone. Lapinski described the man as having a medium build and balding in the front of his head. She said she hopes that someone recognizes the man before he does it again. “I want someone to say, ‘I know him.’ He can't keep going back and keep doing this to women. I’m going to be traumatized for the rest of my life,” she said. “When I go to bed, I toss and turn thinking about his face.” Both Macy’s and the Mall at Robinson said in statements about the matter that the safety of customers is a top priority. They could not confirm whether other incidents were previously reported.
  • Two Florida animal rescue facilities have taken in 47 dachshunds and are looking for a forever home for each of them. WJHG reported  that the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, and the Save Underdogs Rescue in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, took in the dogs. >> Read more trending news “They were going to be taken to a local shelter that wasn't a no-kill shelter so ... the reason it was so urgent for us to get them within this 24-48 hour time period was because they were going to be euthanized,” Alaqua Animal Refuge communications director Mary Chris Murry told WJHG. On Sunday, Save Underdogs shared on Facebook that the 47 dogs were on their way to Florida from Arkansas.  Save Underdogs founder Terri Bondi told Northwest Florida Daily News she learned of the situation from a friend in Arkansas. The dogs’ former owner, a truck driver, didn’t realize that they could breed when they were 6 months old, Bondi said. He sought help when he found himself with nearly 50 dogs and without a way to care for them. WEAR reported the dogs came from a hoarding situation, although Bondi said that was not the case. “I thought it was originally 30 dogs and thought I could manage it,” said Laurie Hood, founder of the Alaqua Animal Refuge. “But when it was 50 ... It was perfect timing that Alaqua had space.” The total turned out to be 47.  Alaqua took in 26 dachshunds, Bondi said, leaving Save Underdogs with 21.  The dogs range in age from several months old to 5 years old. Those interested in adopting may visit the Save Underdogs website and the Alaqua Animal Refuge website for more information and to contact the organizations to find a forever friend. Updated at 9:25 a.m. March 29 with additional information from Bondi.
  • Detroit police on Sunday found the body of a baby girl in a dumpster after the newborn’s mother went to the emergency room bleeding and complaining of stomach pain.  WDIV reported that medical staff at the hospital transferred the 39-year-old woman to the intensive care unit, where they discovered that she’d recently given birth. She did not have a newborn with her, and neither did her husband, who drove her to the hospital.  >> Read more trending stories Officers who went to the couple’s home on Detroit’s east side found the baby’s body in a trash bin behind the house, the news station reported.  The woman’s husband told police he did not know she’d given birth.  MLive.com reported Tuesday morning that the woman remained on a breathing tube in the hospital’s ICU, so investigators had not yet been able to interview her. An autopsy was done Monday on the infant’s body, but the cause of death has not been made public.  The case remains under investigation. 

The Latest News Videos