7 Essential Items to make New Orleans
Sound Ordinance fair and functional


  1. Establishments that offer live entertainment must take reasonable measures to assure compliance with the requirements of the noise ordinance.  Such measures include, but are not limited to, developing and implementing a sound control program and documenting sound level measurements to be kept on file at the premises.

  2. Appoint a full time person who will have the authority and affirmative duty to administer and enforce the ordinances, and who shall have the full backing of NOPD and Health Department, and who shall establish and maintain a publicly accessible (via interactive website) centralized record-keeping system to track complaints, enforcement and compliance efforts.

  3. Amend ordinance to clarify that all measurements of sound emanating from private or public property in all zoning districts will be taken at the property line of the source of the sound.

  4. In order to impose penalties that will deter repeat offenses for abuse of sound ordinance standards, pass state legislation to allow higher or unlimited fines.  In the absence of this legislation, consider other deterrents such as limited operating hours or complete shut down of the offending establishment.

  5. Make significant revisions to the Mayoralty permitting process to ensure advance public notification and opportunities for public comment prior to granting a mayoralty permit authorizing a sound-producing land-use to the requesting establishment.

  6. (Would pertain only to French Quarter)  Return decibel levels in Vieux Carré Commercial (VCC) and Vieux Carré Residential (VCR) districts to the following levels which existed in 1997 in the French Quarter and which still currently exist in the Marigny.
    • VCR: 7 am - 10 pm - L10 60  Lmax 70; 10 pm - 7 am - L10 55  Lmax 60.
    • VCC: 7 am - 10 pm - L10 65  Lmax 75; 10 pm - 7 am - L10 60  Lmax 65
  7. (Would pertain only to French Quarter)  Enforce a maximum of 85 Lmax in the VCE for sound protruding into the public space.  This maximum helps ensure that citizens and involuntary listeners won’t be exposed to sound beyond acceptable industrial levels.  Also, maintain ambient as the standard in the VCE but use as “db level 10 above ambient noise level, not to exceed Lmax 85 db.”