Proposed updates to noise ordinance in Kansas City upset some business owners

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An update to the noise ordinance in KCMO would target loud parties, bars, and other establishments, and some people are upset about a possible change.

"If they change the noise ordinance now, it`s going to affect everybody that has outdoor music or loud music in town," said Stretch, the owner of Grinders in the Crossroads District.

Stretch says he's upset the ordinance might change because he owns an outdoor music venue.

"We only do 40 shows a year now, we`re off by midnight, and there`s already complainers that are out there," Stretch added.

The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department is considering updates to the current noise ordinance -- the first time since the mid-1960s.

"Noise is a public health problem," said Bert Malone, the deputy director at the health department.

Malone says exposure to excessive noise can cause hypertension and heart disease.

"We receive between 60 and 70 complaints a year," Malone said.

Malone says a warning is issued the first complaint. People are sent out to measure the noise with noise meters after the second complaint, and fines are given if the noise is too high.

"What we try to do is to balance the right that every citizen has of an environment free of noise pollution where they can sleep, get a good night sleep, as well as the rights of those individuals who are out having a good time," said Malone.

If the new rules pass, the updated ordinance will allow the health department to order new equipment to better measure the noise levels.

The main difference between the old and new noise meters is that the new ones will be able to measure low bass sounds as well as higher and lower decibels

"We`re in the entertainment district and we`re also in the city - it doesn`t say welcome to Kansas City, the sleepy little town," Stretch said.

The Kansas City Neighborhood and Housing Committee visited the second reading of the ordinance on Wednesday. It was held for one more week, and will go before full council if the committee passes it next week. The top noise violation fine will also be raised from $500 to $1,000.

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