Rules for noisy events

2017-04-11 06:02

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Stricter guidelines for public events are being considered to manage the impact on residents who live close by, such as in the area of the fan walk and Cape Town Stadium.

The idea of creating an overlay zone is among ways proposed to address the impact of crowds flocking to events along the Atlantic Seaboard, confirms JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, and social services, and would look to fine tune the criteria for such events.

“The idea of event overlays is still very much in its infancy. There will have to be extensive engagements around this, both internally and externally, among the various City of Cape Town departments and with community-based organisations. The City is exploring the possibility of overlays for high frequency event areas and our strategic asset precincts as a means of creating a more fine-grained set of conditions for these areas or precincts. We are engaging with various departments in the City to determine if such a mechanism would be beneficial in effectively managing events,” he says.

Jane Meyer, spokesperson of the Mouille Point Ratepayers’ Association, says in areas where residential zones are next door to event zones a different set of criteria is required to prevent residents from being unduly disturbed with every event that takes place.

The organisation has been in discussion with the City on the possibility of overlay zones, she says.

“It would not only be for Mouille Point and Green Point but would be for other areas and venues which are considered ‘densely populated’ such as Sea Point or ‘sensitive’ such at the Cape Town City Hall for example. This overlay document would be in addition to the usual rules and regulations and would specifically address issues such as noise, traffic, parking and protection of buildings and infrastructure.”

The single biggest factor that impacts negatively on residents is noise from events, Meyer adds.

“This overlay document would seek to regulate that to acceptable standards. It would advise that where stages are required they be closed on three sides and on top as this greatly mitigates sound spillage. On the common fields for example, the best location for erecting stages would be listed. There would be a maximum decibel level stipulated measured at 5m from the stage and this level would not be allowed to be exceeded. Positioning, number and sizes of speakers would need to be strategically thought through by event organisers so that an event can still be a success for participants but not to the detriment of nearby neighbours. Independent acoustics professionals would need to be appointed to ensure that events stay within the parameters agreed to. The cost of these independent sound people would be for the cost of the event organiser,” Meyer ­suggests.

“Where event organisers have taken on our suggestions their events have run smoothly with little to no repercussions to nearby residents. We truly believe that this overlay document will go a long way to solving the ongoing problems densely populated areas have regarding noisy events in ­particular.”

Smith cautions that creating the overlay document is at an exploratory stage and that no further details are available.

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