Metro council members hope noise initiative is first step in reducing violence

Metro council members hope noise initiative is first step in reducing violence
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 11:43 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In an attempt to address violence, two Metro council members are first tackling noise.

Alcohol Beverage Control announced a new zero-tolerance policy on restaurant and noise violations in Jefferson County.

The two council members are celebrating the new initiative as a win for public safety.

It can be hard to see how noise violations and shootings can be connected. Council members Ben Reno-Weber and Andrew Owen sent out a press release connecting public safety and noise.

It’s common to find large crowds and live music on Bardstown Road.

However, people who live nearby don’t always enjoy the noise that comes with it.

“The loud cars and music, that’s a huge problem,” Carolyn Congleton said.

Congleton said that Sunday after a community meeting for districts 8 and 9 which cover the Highlands and Clifton areas.

She said her friend who lives next to Bardstown Road is concerned about all the noise.

Hundreds of people attended the meeting Owen and Reno-Weber to talk about public safety.

“Obviously there are concerns across our community about the levels of violence,” Reno-Weber said.

Reno-Weber represents District 8, which includes the Highlands.

There was a triple shooting on Bardstown Road on July 31, which was fresh on the minds of everyone at Sunday’s meeting.

“What was wonderful and surprising about that is we got immediate and concrete action about what the next steps are as a community,” Reno-Weber said.

One of those steps is a zero-tolerance noise initiative, which will fine bars and restaurants $2,500 for the first offense.

Noise is something that some people at the meeting, like Congleton, said is a big problem.

In the two council member’s announcement on Tuesday, including a quote from Reno-Weber, there are a few references to public safety and violence and how this initiative is part of the push to address them.

Reno-Weber said noise reduction is a small step in a larger process.

“Part of this is kind of like a let us just create spaces where the neighbors can sleep,” Reno-Weber said. “The second piece is we’re also seeing the relationship between the number of alleged violations for noise since we have not largely been citing, and spillover into the streets afterward.”

More people can mean more noise, and with more people, there’s a higher chance of bad things happening.

Reno-Weber said there are more steps coming that he can’t talk about yet.

He said they’re expecting announcements from other agencies like LMPD for new initiatives that will help address violence all over the city.

“This is a community-wide problem that is way bigger than any issue just related to noise or even these bars,” he said. “Community violence is an issue that needs to be addressed in the short term, in the medium term, and with long-term initiatives.”

The noise initiative goes into effect in September. Bars and restaurants will be notified in the coming weeks.