Wednesday, April 16, 2008

my interview with the weekly volcano!

I WAS JUST INTERVIEWED BY THE WEEKLY VOLCANO ON THE NOISE ORDINANCE. I WILL POST THE ARTICLE WHEN I T COMES OUT, HERE IS THE TEXT OF THE FULL INTERVIEW:

- In your opinion, what is behind the move for a noise ordinance? Who
supports it and why?

IN A LETTER POSTED ON OLYBLOG, JEFF KINGSBURY SAID:

“Thank you for writing. I did, indeed, request this particular review by the Planning Commission. I want to assure you that the process includes notification to all stakeholders that we are able to identify. This certainly includes nightclub owners and operators in the downtown area. The ordinance review is in anticipation of housing in our downtown. In fact, we have already identified a project that is scheduled to break ground in the near future, near Olympia Federal Savings.

I will make certain that our planning staff is diligent about their notification process. I am not certain if the Council will hold a public hearing on this, as it would be an amendment only. We currently have a noise ordinance in place. We would not, however, pass it on a "first and final" reading basis, as there would likely be no need. Nor can I be certain that the entire council is prepared to pass an ordinance of this kind.
Again, thank you.
Best regards,
Jeff Kingsbury”

THE PART THAT WORRIES ME IS “THE ORDINANCE REVIEW IS IN ANTICIPATION OF HOUSING IN OUR DOWNTOWN”. THERE IS ALREADY HOUSING IN OUR DOWNTOWN. I LIVE DOWNTOWN AND HAVE LIVED DOWNTOWN FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS. THERE ISN’T A PROBLEM WITH NOISE AFTER 10PM AS FAR AS I CAN TELL. I CAN ONLY GUESS THAT THEY ARE TRYING TO ‘CLEAN UP’ DOWNTOWN, IE REMOVIE UNDESIRABLE ELEMENENTS SO THEY CAN BUILD CONDOS. I THINK THERE SHOULD BE HOUSING FOR ALL INCOMES DOWNTOWN, BUT WHEN RICH PEOPLE (WHO CAN AFFORD CONDOS) ARE PRIORITIZED OVER THE EXISTING PEOPLE WHO LIVE DOWNTOWN (MOSTLY WORKING POOR PEOPLE) THERE IS A PROBLEM. I ALSO FOUND THIS QUOTE INTERESTING:

“One of four Council’s focus areas is, “To invest in Downtown so that
more people live, work, learn, shop, play and enjoy downtown.” As the
City continues to make investments and residential housing units
increase, we anticipate a growing concern regarding noise. The City
adopted state statutes on noise control. The state statutes recognize
that inadequately controlled noise adversely affects people’s health,
safety, and welfare, the value of property, and the environment. “

http://www.ci.olympia.wa.us/documents/OlympiaPlanningCommission/040708/Noise_Ordinance_OPC040708_STF.pdf

I AM WORRIED THAT THE CITY IS MORE CONCERNED WITH PROPERTY VALUES THAN WITH SERVING THE EXISTING DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY. IF THERE WAS A NOISE PROBLEM, THERE WOULD BE CITIZEN COMPLAINTS. AS I UNDERSTAND IT, THAT JUST ISN’T HAPPENING. I CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THAT THE CITY IS MORE INTERESTED IN ATTRACTED RICH PEOPLE (CONDO BUYERS, PROPERTY INVESTERS) THAN IN SERVING OLYMPIA’S CURRENT DOWNTOWN RESIDENTS AND WORKERS, MANY OF WHOM ARE SELF-EMPLOYED MUSICIANS (AND ARTISTS) TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING PLAYING SHOWS AND WORKING ODD JOBS TO PAY THE INCREASING RENT.



- Is any noise ordinance bad news for Olympia, or is the proposed
amendment particularly unfair? Can you think of any possible compromise
here?

MY PROBLEM WITH THE NOISE ORDINANCE IS THAT THIS IS NOT COMING FROM WITHIN THE COMMUNITY. THERE NEEDS TO BE A PUBLIC HEARING AND AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT LIVE MUSIC IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF DOWNTOWN OLYMPIA THAT NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED. SOMEONE ONLINE SUGGESTED THE CITY SHOULD GO DOWNTOWN AND TAKE CURRENT DECIBEL READINGS TO FIND OUT WHAT THE LIMIT NEEDS TO BE IN ORDER TO INCLUDE PROVISIONS THAT ALLOW FOR LIVE CONCERTS. I AGREE WITH THAT.

- What do you fear the effect of passing the noise ordinance amendment
would be on Olympia?

I AM AFRAID THAT DOWNTOWN VENUES WON’T BE ABLE TO HAVE LIVE MUSIC AFTER 10PM. THIS WOULD NOT ONLY IMPACT OLYMPIA RESIDENTS NEGATIVELY, IT WOULD TAKE INCOME AWAY FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES, SELF-EMPLOYED MUSICIANS AND ROB US OF OUR COMMUNITY. THERE HAS BEEN A VITAL MUSIC SCENE IN OLYMPIA AT LEAST SINCE THE 1980’S. OLYMPIA IS KNOWN ALL OVER THE WORLD FOR IT’S MUSIC. THIS INCLUDES BANDS, SOLO PERFORMERS, FESTIVALS, RECORD LABELS AND VENUES. THE CITY SHOULD RECOGNIZE THERE IS A LOCAL ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL IMPACT TO THEIR DECISION.

- Do you expect to be able to stop this from happening?

WE NEED A PUBLIC HEARING. EVERYONE WHO CARES ABOUT MUSIC IN OLYMPIA NEEDS TO BE VIGILANT ON THIS ISSUE. IF THE PEOPLE ARE HEARD, WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO STOP IT.

-Is there a noise "problem" in Olympia?

NO. I LIVE DOWNTOWN. THE ONLY TIME NOISE BUGS ME IS WHEN THERE IS CONSTRUCTION BEFORE NOON, BUT I UNDERSTAND THAT’S JUST A PART OF LIVING IN A COMMERICAL AREA. PEOPLE WHO MOVE DOWNTOWN NEED TO REALIZE THERE IS GOING TO BE LIVE MUSIC HAPPENING. SOMETIMES KAROKE BUGS ME, BUT I THINK ALL THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN IS FOR CERTAIN VENUES TO KEEP THEIR DOORS SHUT IN THE SUMMER TIME. IT’S NOT REALLY A HUGE PROBLEM. I THINK YOU COULD JUST WALK OVER TO THE BAR AND ASK THEM TO CLOSE THEIR DOOR AND THEY WOULD PROBABLY DO IT. THERE REALLY ISN’T A NEED TO INVOLVE THE POLICE. DURING ARTSTWALK AND LAKEFAIR THERE IS SOMETIMES REALLY OBNOXIOUS MUSIC DOWNTOWN THAT GOES ON LATE INTO THE NIGHT, BUT IT’S FINE BECAUSE ITS GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY TO HAVE EVENTS WHERE PEOPLE OCCUPY PUBLIC SPACE. I ACTUALLY THINK WE NEED TO BE TOLERANT OF DIFFERENCES AND GET OVER IT.

- Do you think the process being employed by the city council leading up
to the consideration is fair to all sides? Do you think the city council
already knows what it wants to do?

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THEY ARE BEING SNEAKY BY TRYING TO ADD THIS TO A PREVIOUSLY EXISTING AMMENDMENT THAT APPLIES TO RESIDENTIAL AREAS. DOWNTOWN IS PRIMARILY A COMMERICIAL DISTRICT AT THIS TIME. AS A LONG TERM RESIDENT OF DOWNTOWN, I AM HAPPY TO HEAR THE CITY WANTS TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO MOVE DOWNTOWN, BUT IT NEEDS TO BE CONCERNED WITH THE NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF PEOPLE OF ALL INCOME LEVELS AND THEY NEED TO MAKE PROVISIONS FOR THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE SO THAT IT DOESN’T NEEDLESSLY SUFFER AS S RESULT.

- What do you expect the Olympia music and art community to do if the
amendment is passed? What will the reaction be?

HOPEFULLY IT WON’T GET TO THAT STAGE, BUT IF IT DOES WE WILL COME UP WITH COMMUNITY ACTIONS OF CREATIVE RESISTANCE THAT WILL SHOW OUR UNITY AND VIGILANCE. THE OLYMPIA MUSIC SCENE HAS A LONG HISTORY OF BEING POLITICAL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO ACCEPT THIS. THIS IS OUR TOWN. TO QUOTE PUNK ROCK PATTI SMITH “WE CREATED IT, LET’S TAKE IT OVER!”

Anything else you'd like to add would be greatly appreciated. I tried to
take it easy on you seeing as your letter already lays all of it out- and
no doubt took a while to type.
Thanks,
-matt

GO AHEAD AND QUOTE FROM MY LETTER IF YOU LIKE

What can people do to help stop the noise ordinance amendment?

YESTERDAY I SENT THIS OUT IN THE KILL ROCK STARS NEWSLETTER, IN HOPES THAT OLYMPIA MUSIC FANS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD WILL WRITE THE CITY COUNCIL:

http://krshijinx.blogspot.com/2008/04/we-oppose-noise-ordinance-in-olympia.html

I KNOW OF AT LEAST ONE PERSON FROM AUSTRALIA WHO LIVES IN BERLIN WHO WROTE THE CITY LAST NIGHT. I THINK WE SHOULD FORWARD THIS NEWS TO OUR FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO WRITE THE CITY. Send letters to:__citycouncil@ci.olympia.wa.us_

I ALSO FOUND THIS ON OLY BLOG TODAY:

Submitted by Bauermeister on Fri, 04/11/2008 - 7:16am.
Hello all -
Right now I think the biggest issue is that, as per Kingsbury's Answer, the city council is prepared to go forward with this without hearing any more public comment. Write to the planning commission BEFORE MAY 5TH when they make their presentation on the matter. Urge that this be brought before a full council meeting so that more than one or two representatives from each side can be heard.
If you send an email to: olympiaismusic@gmail.com (that's, olympia-is-music as one word), you will automatically be sent back an email which contains a call to action, the address to which you can write the planning commission (Olympia Planning Commission, PO Box 1967, Olympia WA 98507), and links to the actual texts of the amendment, the ordinance, and the general WA ordinance upon which it's based.
OLYMPIA=MUSIC=OLYMPIA=MUSIC=OLYMPIA=MUSIC=OLYMPIA=MUSIC


SO YEAH, JUST MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD, GO TO THE CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS, WRITE TO THE OLYMPIAN AND MAKE YOUR OPINION KNOWN.

THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.

thanks,

1 comment:

JX:ATG said...

Do not despair! Here in Oregon we just fought the OLCC and won! Music/art venues will now have an easier time having all-ages events. It took a huge letter/email writing campaign, a lot of testimony, and, ultimately, two voting sessions. But in the end it all worked out. Of course, fighting developers is harder than what we did, but I know you can do it. Keep up the good work.

See this article for more info.