Planning & Zoning Commission


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  AGENDA ITEM: 3.       
Meeting Date: 07/07/2020  
Requested by: Bayer Vella
Case Number: 1901670

SUBJECT:
CONTINUED ITEM: PUBLIC HEARING: DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING A PROPOSED CODE AMENDMENT TO THE NOISE ABATEMENT STANDARDS ONLY FOR NEW AND SPECIFIC LAND USE TYPES AND SEPARATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CONVENIENCE USES OF THE ZONING CODE
RECOMMENDATION:
Staff recommends approval. 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
The purpose of this item is to consider a proposed Zoning Code amendment (Attachment 1) related to noise abatement standards, as a component of development review, and separation requirements for convenience uses. This item is on the Planning Division Workplan and Town's Strategic Plan.

The zoning code amendment was considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission on June 2, 2020, and was continued to the following meeting. The staff report and draft meeting minutes for the June meeting can be viewed in Attachments 2 and 3, respectively. This report provides additional information to address the questions raised by the Commission during the hearing. Those questions related to the following topics:
  1. A comparison of the proposed noise standards to surrounding jurisdictions;
  2. National standards for noise abatement; and
  3. Enforcement procedures for noise complaints
Surround jurisdiction comparison

To address the first topic, staff updated the surrounding jurisdiction analysis (Attachment 4) to include the "one-hour average limits" rather than the "maximum sound limits" which is more reflective of the standards applied in other southern Arizona communities. The proposed standards are slightly higher in some instances and lower in others as a result of being "right sized". The thresholds proposed in Table 25-1.A (Attachment 1) are more representative of National Standards, strike a balance between development and surrounding land uses and should serve as a template for other jurisdictions. 

National Standards

The National Standards used throughout the United States are the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These standards provide methodologies for quantifying the long term community impact of a wide variety of sound classifications. The standards establish appropriate adjustments (based on external factors) and measurement methodologies for a variety of sound classifications. References to these standards are detailed more extensively in the associated technical bulletin provided by the Acoustic Engineer consultant (table of contents provided for reference in Attachment 5). These standards directly informed the "one hour average limits" and appropriate adjustments for nighttime and evening hours as well as those for special characteristics, such as background noise and road noise. A table from ANSI Section 12.9 Part 5, detailing land use compatibly for a variety of uses relative to noise impacts, is included as Attachment 6. As you can see, the proposed thresholds in Attachment 1 are consistent with the table and are either compatible or marginally compatible.  


Enforcement

As discussed in the June staff report, the proposed code amendment will only apply during the development review process for new land uses. It is not intended to deal with noise violations or nuisances arising from "unreasonable noise" emanating from an existing land use - or once a new use is operational, as those are handled exclusively by Town Code. The proposed standards will be used during the initial project review to determine necessary mitigation measures. Once approved and constructed, any noise complaints will be handled by the Town of Oro Valley Police Department based on the criteria in Town Code. The sole exception to this is if the new use received a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and is exceeding the approved noise thresholds. In this scenario, possible reconsideration of the CUP may be required. 
BACKGROUND OR DETAILED INFORMATION:
The purpose of this item is to consider a proposed Zoning Code amendment (Attachment 1) related to noise abatement standards, as a component of development review, and separation requirements for convenience uses. This item is on the Planning Division Workplan and Town's Strategic Plan.

The zoning code amendment was considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission on June 2, 2020, and was continued to the July meeting. The staff report and draft meeting minutes for the June meeting can be viewed in Attachments 2 and 3, respectively. This report provides additional information to address the questions raised by the Commission during the hearing. Those questions related to the following topics:
  1. A comparison of the proposed noise standards to surrounding jurisdictions;
  2. National standards for noise abatement; and
  3. Enforcement procedures for noise complaints
Surround jurisdiction comparison

To address the first topic, staff updated the surrounding jurisdiction analysis table (Attachment 4) to include the "one-hour average limits" rather than the "maximum sound limits" which is more reflective of the standards applied in other southern Arizona communities. Please note, some jurisdictions did not indicate how they calculate noise levels, so the average limits proposed are again a more reasonable comparison. The proposed standards are slightly higher in some instances and lower in others as a result of being "right sized" that are more representative of National Standards.  Again, the aim is to strike a balance between development and any impacts on neighboring properties.   

National Standards

The National Standards used throughout the United States are known as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These standards provide methodologies for quantifying the long term community impact of a wide variety of sound classifications. The standards establish appropriate adjustments (based on external factors) and measurement methodologies for a variety of sound classifications. References to these standards are detailed more extensively in the associated technical bulletin provided by the Acoustic Engineer consultant (table of contents provided for reference in Attachment 5). These standards directly informed the "one hour average limits" and appropriate adjustments for nighttime and evening hours as well as those for special characteristics, such as background noise and road noise. The table at right (from ANSI Section 12.9 Part 5), generated from the methodologies included in the National Standards, establish a range of land use compatibility for a variety of uses, relative to noise levels. This table, representing the "one-hour average noise levels" includes 4 levels of compatibility based on the respective land use type. The thresholds in Table 25-1.A of the proposed amendment are consistent with the National Standards.



Enforcement

As discussed in the June staff report, the proposed code amendment is intended to only apply during the development review process for new land uses. It is not intended to deal with noise violations or nuisances arising from "unreasonable noise" emanating from an existing land use - or once a new use is operational, as those are handled exclusively by Town Code. The proposed standards will be used solely during the initial project review to determine necessary mitigation measures. Once approved and constructed, any noise complaints will be handled by the Town of Oro Valley Police Department based on the criteria in Town Code. While Town Code is purposefully subjective, it does establish several factors to be considered when a noise complaint is received. Those include:
 

Section 10.1.4.D.
D. Factors that may be considered in determining the reasonableness of the noise are, but not limited to:

1. The level, character, frequency and duration of the noise;

2. The necessity of the noise;

3. The proximity of the source to inhabited structures;

4. Hardship to the perpetrator if noise discontinued or limited;

5. Character and zoning of neighborhood;

6. Time of noise.
 

Again, enforcement of noise complaints will solely be conducted by the Oro Valley Police Department.

The only exception would be when the new use received a Conditional Use Permit, which considers noise impacts (levels), and is exceeding the approved noise thresholds. Should that scenario happen, possible reconsideration of the Permit may be required. 
FISCAL IMPACT:
N/A
SUGGESTED MOTION:
The Planning and Zoning Commission may wish to consider one of the following motions: 

I MOVE to recommend approval of the proposed code amendment based on a finding it is in conformance with Vision, Guiding Principles, Goals and Policies of the General Plan

OR

I MOVE to recommend denial of the proposed code amendment based on a finding that _____________.
Attachments
ATTACHMENT 1 - PROPOSED CODE AMENDMENT
ATTACHMENT 2 - JUNE PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT
ATTACHMENT 3 - DRAFT JUNE PZC MEETING MINUTES
ATTACHMENT 4 - COMPARISON OF SURROUNDING JURISDICTIONS
ATTACHMENT 5 - TECH. BULLETIN TABLE OF CONTENTS
ATTACHMENT 6 - LAND USE COMPATIBILITY


    

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