Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hailey sets 10 p.m. curfew for amplified sound downtown

City Council responds to public pressure

Express Staff Writer

Fritz Haemmerle

    Although Hailey officials are eager to bring musical events to town, the regular parties on Main Street will not go on as late in the evening as they once hoped.
    The Hailey City Council responded to public pressure Monday, limiting the hours of regular weekly musical events with amplified sound to 10 a.m-10 p.m. The council backed down from an ordinance passed last summer that allowed the music to play until 11:00 p.m.
    Unique large concerts at city parks that draw big crowds can apply for a special permit to play longer.
    The rule was changed back after a number of Hailey residents expressed anger and frustration at having their quiet summer evenings interrupted by loud music, which they said, was playing until 11:30 p.m.
    Old Hailey residents Ben Schepps and Hellen Stone said they would like the city to institute official “noise free” nights during summer, a proposal the City Council refused.
    Elm Street resident Mike Healy said he and his wife were reluctant to dine outside last summer due to the “relentless” sound of music and song coming from Main Street, several blocks away.
    “Why do we allow this in our community?” Healy said at the Monday meeting.
    The Main Street businesses that play outdoor music during summer are the Wicked Spud, the Sun Valley Brewery and the Powerhouse, although city law allows others to apply for permits to hold regular concerts.
    “If there is non-stop music night after night in summer, we will have to re-address this,” said Councilwoman Martha Burke.

The intent is to have the occasional wild and crazy day.”
Fritz Haemmerle

    The revised Hailey Noise Ordinance will allow for amplified sound no louder than 90 decibels, measured at the property boundary, and only until 10 p.m., whether or not the sound is coming from inside or outside a building.
    Large concerts at Werthheimer and at Hop Porter parks, including the Northern Rockies Music Festival, will be allowed to play until 11 p.m.
    The City Council extended the hours for amplified sound in the central business district last summer after granting a special permit to accommodate two large-scale concerts at Wertheimer Park.
    Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle said he is still keen on getting big shows at the rodeo arena.
    “If the Rolling Stones said they would play here, I suspect we would say yes, and play until whenever,” Haemmerle said.
    “The intent is to have the occasional wild and crazy day,” he said.
In other Hailey news:
    - Jennifer Simpson was hired last week as Hailey Chamber of Commerce administrator. She will eventually take over many duties from chamber Marketing Director Heather LaMonica Deckard, who is now living in Las Vegas, Nev.
    - Assistant Hailey Chief of Police Dave Stellers was awarded a plaque for 20 years of service to the city.
Tony Evans:

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