Mark Scully: Downtown noise
August 15, 2010
Full disclosure: I work on the Howelsen Place project, I live in the city of Steamboat, I love the music at Ghost Ranch Saloon, and I am honored that my family can be a part of this community.
As with many issues in our lives, and certainly our politics, issues require thoughtful dialogue from all perspectives. The Ghost Ranch Saloon is a wonderful amenity to Steamboat. We love having it as part of the growing lifestyle of downtown Steamboat.
Howelsen Place was awarded the ACE award for Construction Excellence. It was also built to the highest standards of construction quality and cost. The first floor has an 18-inch concrete slab while the second and third floors have a seven-layer structure to minimize noise. The windows and doors are all multipane. The walls have extra insulation and stud separation throughout to minimize noise.
As many have argued, the ambient noise of downtown Steamboat is part of living downtown. That is not the issue. There are no complaints from homeowners along Yampa Street, along the alley, or along Lincoln Avenue. The noise complaints are solely from homeowners living across from Ghost Ranch Saloon, which was converted from a bookstore to a saloon long after Howelsen Place received approvals and started construction.
This issue is exceptional. We have longstanding laws that govern behavior, and noise, that were designed specifically for areas like downtown Steamboat. What the article ("Noisy nights raise clamor," Aug. 1, 2010, Steamboat Pilot & Today) did not mention is that our consultant and Steamboat police have documented that the Ghost Ranch exceeds the noise ordinance decibel levels when its doors, windows and blinds are left open. This is not always the case, and when closed, the noise issue abates to reasonable levels.
The good news is that this can be fixed with some simple solutions like keeping the windows closed and adding an entry vestibule to the front door. We need to work together to think issues like this through to create a win-win situation.
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Principal, Scully Partners, LLC