Bill 55 – Noise Legislation

I’ve recently heard from concerned members of our community and HPD officers who are not satisfied with our county’s current noise law.  As chair of the Council’s Committee on Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs (SEDGA), I’ve introduced Bill 55 (11) to address their quality of life concerns and to hopefully find a solution that everyone can appreciate.

The current law, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu Section 41-31.1, restricts the use of any device that reproduces sound on any public property, street, highway, building, sidewalk, park or thoroughfare if the sound generated is audible at a distance of 30 feet from the devise reproducing the sound. My proposed amendment includes devices that also produce sound and increases the distance component to 100 feet.

Times of Sound  --  The current law covers radios, disc players, and other devices that reproduce or play music that was previously recorded.  Bill 55 adds devices like musical instruments and loud speakers played by individuals in public spaces without a permit.  Concerts, rallies, athletic events, and similar festivities can be exempt from the proposed change by applying for and receiving an event permit.

Distance  --  The second component of my proposed amendment is to increase the comfort distance from 30 feet to 100 feet.  This modification was made as a result of research conducted into other noise laws in various municipalities and court cases challenging this type of ordinance.  The City’s attorneys felt that an increase to 100 feet would satisfy most legal concerns so we can avoid lengthy hearings and unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars in the courtroom if the legislation is passed and enacted.

Get Involved  --  The October 5th City Council meeting marks 1st Reading for Bill 55, and an opportunity for public testimony will likely be provided at the SEDGA committee meeting at 9:00am on Tuesday, October 11th.  I welcome your thoughts on this legislation, so please call or email me whether you support or oppose the ideas I’ve outlined here.  You can also submit testimony online at Honolulu.gov/Council or fax to 768-3826.

Tulsi Gabbard

Councilmember, District VI

Chair:

  • Safety, Economic Development, Government Affairs

Vice Chair:

  • Budget

Member:

  • Executive Matters & Legal Affairs
  • Public Works & Sustainability
  • Parks & Cultural Affairs
  • Legislative Matters

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