The final community hearing on the final version of the city's Downtown Austin Plan takes place April 26 at 6:00 PM, after which it heads in front of City Council.
Included in the plan is a proposal with the potential to change this city's dining scene: AU-4.6 would allow restaurants in specified districts to play music outside as loudly as cocktail bars (it also recommends requirements for soundproofing hotel and residential buildings). Here's the proposal:
AU-4.6: Allow restaurants in certain Downtown districts to have outdoor music venues with the same sound levels as cocktail lounges. The City’s noise ordinance allows outdoor amplified
music up to 85 decibels for cocktail lounge uses within CBD-zoned areas, yet Downtown restaurants in the same zoning district are limited to 70 decibels, if they have an outdoor music venue. The City should allow CBD-zoned restaurants to fall under the same 85 decibel sound limit. Simultaneously, the City should institute requirements and/or incentives for soundproofing hotel and residential units.
So, is this another step towards turning Austin into the ultimate music-lover's paradise? Or will it just make downtown restaurant patios loud and unbearable?