City of Somerville

Agenda Item
Work Completed
Feb 9, 2012 7:00 PM

That This Board’s Subcommittee on Public Health and Public Safety Invite the Owner(S) of the Armory Building to a Meeting to Discuss Their Inability to Contain Noise During Performances.


Department:Clerk of CommitteesSponsors:Ward Five Alderman Sean T. O’Donovan
Category:Board CommunicationPurposes:Order

Official Text

That this Board?s subcommittee on Public Health and Public Safety invite the owner(s) of the Armory building to a meeting to discuss their inability to contain noise during performances.

Meeting History

Apr 22, 2010 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
Jul 6, 2010 6:30 PM  Public Health and Public Safety Committee Committee Meeting

Chief Cabral told the members that he requested notification of future events at the Armory so that a detail could be present and noted that he has not received any requests for details. Ms. McLaughlin stated that the request for details cannot come from her office but must come from the party renting the Armory since they are currently in the process of getting a liquor license. She believes her duty was only to give the contact number for details to the party renting the hall. Ms. McLaughlin discussed the report of the noise consultant and said that a recommendation of noise mitigation of the windows was suggested. Once the report is reviewed by the Armory’s Board of Directors, she will email the report so that it becomes a public document. Cathleen Claycomb, of 195 Highland Avenue, stated that she has not heard any noise for the past 6 to 8 weeks as a result of there being no activity in the Armory Café. On a recent Saturday evening, (possibly June 19th), she did hear some music during a recent performance and the noise lasted until about 10:30 PM. Gordon Siek of 187 Highland Avenue stated that the music woke him from a sound sleep and that he could hear the music clearly even though he had his central A/C on. He said he cannot hear the noise from the front or rear of the building but only on his side. John Sullivan, of 50 Hudson Street, stated that the level of noise is very loud at certain parts of the building and he feels that the Armory personnel have only been giving lip service and that the neighbors are being taken advantage of. He believes that it is the building owner’s responsibility to hire a detail police officer. Chief Cabral stated that the agent of the property is responsible for the detail and that all future details should be handled through the agent of the Armory. A representative of the Armory stated that there have been many events in the last month and a half and pointed out that noise was only heard on one night. Both neighbors and Armory representatives attempted to determine where the noise was emenating from in the building. Gordon Seek stated there have been a number of events that are not on the Armory calendar of events. He also complained about the parking situation and said he does not feel that the city is enforcing the parking regulations, noting that many of the vehicles do not have parking permits and are not being ticketed. Mr. Seek added that ticketing is being done on Hudson Street but not on Highland Avenue. Ms. McLaughlin stated that Armory personnel deliver the message regarding parking to those coming to events and she also discussed information that is posted on the Armory’s website. She discussed ways in which the website will be modified to keep neighbors informed more appropriately. Ms. McLaughlin stated that the Armory’s desire is to take care of the noise problems as soon as possible, adding that the establishment is a non profit entity and relies on grant money to do the renovations. Ms. McLaughlin stated that she would like a clarification as to who is responsible to call for a detail when a one day license is granted and Chief Cabral will provide his contact number to call when a detail is needed. Ms. McLaughlin also requested clarification of how the application for one day beer and wine licenses should be applied for.

Chairman White stated the committee will review the sound consultant’s report and he asked to be alerted by the residents when they hear noise at the Armory so that he might drive by to hear the noise firsthand. Chairman White asked that the detail police officers monitor the noise and keep it under control. Chief Cabral encouraged the neighbors to report their concerns so that they can be documented. A further meeting will be held to discuss the consultant's report and the noise situation during the summer months.

Sep 20, 2010 6:00 PM  Public Health and Public Safety Committee Committee Meeting

Ms. McLaughlin discussed the report of the sound study performed at the armory and highlighted some of the recommendations, among them, soundproofing the windows in the cafe. Ms. McLaughlin assured the members that she is continuing to work with the building owner and with neighbors to remedy the problem as quickly as possible.

Chairman White's motion that the owner of the armory provide the committee with a timeline for completing the work to abate the noise emanating from the building, was approved.

Chief Cabral told the members that he made several visits to the property and took readings using a decible meter. At no time were the readings in violation of applicable codes. There were no calls to the police regarding noise from the armory during the summer. Parking continues to be a problem and is being addressed through the use of an alternate parking lot.

May 9, 2011 6:00 PM  Public Health and Public Safety Committee Committee Meeting

Chief Pasquarello informed the committee that the Police Department has not received any complaints about noise coming from the armory since July of 2010. Police personnel conducted sound measurements this past September and the decibel readings were not over the threshold of the city’s noise ordinance. Presently, there are approximately 10 officers who are certified in the use of a decibel meter. Chief Pasquarello also stated that police details are assigned as required.

Feb 6, 2012 6:30 PM  Public Health and Public Safety Committee Committee Meeting

The committee discussed this issue several times over the past 2 years and has completed its deliberations.

Feb 9, 2012 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting