ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board want to hear how loud is loud.
The advisory board scheduled a special meeting for 1 p.m. Monday to learn the noise levels along West Dearborn Street from audio specialists Keane Acoustics. The advisory board requested the study before the CRA constructs a permanent band shell at the Pioneer Plaza at the 300 block of West Dearborn Street.
The permanent band shell is designed by Sarasota County to be 32 feet long, 24 feet deep, the same size as the temporary bandstand now used at various events held at the plaza.
Dearborn can be noisy now with the ambient cacophony from the chittering of sparrows and other birds, breezes rustling the leaves of trees, vehicular traffic up and down the street, aircraft flying overhead, lawnmowers and other residential machinery, outside conversations — especially on Thursdays during the farmers markets and the music emanating in the evenings from live music at restaurants and bars along Dearborn.
“The most frequent (non-music) noise sources observed were vehicular traffic, chirping birds, aircraft and the rustling of foliage,” the report stated. It also noted how weather and other atmospheric conditions can affect how far sound can travel.
The report noted how sound from a band shell isn’t “omnidirectional,” that the shell itself directs the sound from live performances. The amplification of the sound of a live performance can also be moderated by the sound system.
“As with any sound system, care needs to be taken to properly configure the system to provide ample coverage to the audience and minimize disruption to the community,” the report stated.
“Events using ‘oversized’ sound systems can result in a disturbance, either through poor aiming, raising the loudspeaker arrays too high (projecting sounds over buildings) or using too much power, or low frequency (bass) equalization.”
The consultants recommend setting the band shell on the south side of the plaza and face it north, toward Dearborn.
“The anticipated noise impact for amplified music event will be fairly small for most residences, likely negligible for those more than one block away from the band shell,” the report stated.