Jersey City’s new noise ordinance could hamper bar scene


A noise ordinance received final passage from the Jersey City Council last night, posing a potential threat to the local entertainment, bar and night club industry.


“Just as tweaks were necessary o the ordinance to make it reasonable for the construction industry in Jersey City, tweaks are necessary for our industry,” said Howard Brunner, owner of Transmission, a Jersey City music and entertainment venue.

A state-wide ordinance that makes sense in Morristown (for example) does not necessarily make sense in our increasingly –dense, urban setting.”

Brunner presented a letter asking to table the ordinance until a thorough analysis on sound levels appropriate for venues can be performed.

13 others venue owners including the popular Bistro, O Hara’s, Healy’s Tavern and Tommy’s Brightside signed the letter.

Brunner presented an initial analysis performed by New York City’s acoustical consultant Alan Fierstein, of Acoustilog, on the ordinance.

According to Fierstein, “DBC measurement” and “fast response settings” can be influenced by air conditioners, trains, planes, trucks and footballs in nearby residences, air movement from outside wind and indoor ceiling fans and the “slightest and briefest noises”.

These methods are not accurate methods of measure since it can influenced by sounds not related to what is being investigated, he said.

Acoustilog also claimed that a three-decibel increase would trigger a violation in major cities like New York City, but on the ordinance a two-decibel variation would warrant a violation.

“We want to protect the rights of the citizens who spend five hundred thousand to six hundred thousand on high rises,” stated Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano.

Boggiano explained that aside from construction, music from bars and restaurants are the biggest complaints the city receives, especially after “1 to 2 o’clock in the morning.”

“If you have a restaurant, if you have a bar, close the door, if not, get sound proofing for the front.”

The vote was 7-0 with Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera and Ward B Councilman Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal absent.

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  1. I worked at a very noisy bar/restaurant in the west village for years. We were required to have a sound meter and not go above 88 decibels inside… after a year long series of complaints to the local community board.

    Funny that residents of NYC neighborhoods have more sway over local nuisances than the residents of JC and Hoboken.