Dialing Up Discord

A recent decision by officials in Cary, N.C., to relax established sound level limits at the city-owned Koka Booth Amphitheatre is generating some noise with local homeowners.

While residents in neighborhoods surrounding the venue have complained for years about the noise emitted during concerts, the city apparently had difficulties drawing sufficient acts to the shed under former sound restrictions, according to the News Observer.

Councilman Don Frantz explained in a blog post that officials decided to test out new noise limits after numerous artists, patrons and citizens “complained about our noise restrictions and a number of artists have even refused to play at the amphitheater due to sound limits.”

The test plan will allow three weekend concerts in 2010 to exceed the current limit of 92 decibels, but the shows can not exceed 95 decibels.

The town is also set to perform a test of the amphitheatre’s sound monitoring system, and facility manager SMG will maintain records of artists who forgo performances at the shed over sound restrictions.

A local homeowner criticized the decision to turn up the dial on some shows, telling the News Observer the noise level is “already troubling.”

“The idea of allowing a couple of concerts in here that are going to be even louder is ridiculous,” he said.