Guest column: No Globe Alliance provides SnowGlobe info for locals (opinion)
SnowGlobe 2018 is here! We are asking local residents to please give the new sound engineering a chance.
The SnowGlobe organization has committed to changes this year and they are hoping to reduce the sound to livable levels. The sound restrictions for this event remain the same and the city’s reporting process remains the same as in previous years.
We’re providing the following information to help local residents.
We have a log sheet and links to many cell phone apps you can download to measure the sound on our Facebook group page, No Globe Alliance. We recommend anyone who has had problems in previous years download and print the log sheet, install one of the many free decibel apps and start by measuring the sound. Please understand that there are three different noise regulations for this event:
1. The contracted noise limits between the city of South Lake Tahoe and SnowGlobe
2. The noise limits defined for the Bijou/Al Tahoe Community Plan Area
3. The noise limits for El Dorado County that only apply to those outside of city limits
The city has committed to measure the sound using two different decibel measuring protocols (A and C) and have stated they would measure the sound per their contract with SnowGlobe and as required in the Bijou/Al Tahoe Community Plan.
El Dorado County has no special provisions in place and no agreement with the city that we are aware of for this event. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has expressed interest in seeing the sound measured per the existing Bijou/Al Tahoe Community Plan but have been largely absent from the discussions and planning for this event.
The city has setup a hotline to report complaints at 530-542-6001. Complaints will be logged and reported to the event organizers the following day.
County residents should report to the Eldorado County Code enforcement at 530-621-5999 (they have a complaint form you can also download and print and submit).
What constitutes a violation and what should you say?
Please reference the appropriate regulations when you make a complaint:
The TRPA accepts complaints at 775-589-5250 and has a convenient online complaint form you can also use.
For those within the city of South Lake Tahoe: 10 minutes of sustained noise above 95 decibels is a violation of the SnowGlobe contract. They have not gone over this level in past years and we do not expect them to do so this year either. The regulation is higher than what is allowable at the local airport and is so absurd that we do not believe it will ever be violated.
For El Dorado County residents: County Ordinance Sec. 130.37.060 – Noise Standards establishes a 55 dB limit between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., 50dB limit between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and 45 dB between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
For those living in the Bijou/Al Tahoe Community Plan Area: 60 dB limit between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., 55 dB between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
If you measure the sound and elect to report an issue we ask that you provide the following information:
Your contact information: your name, phone number and address
The measured decibel level you are seeing (get a free app and measure it understanding that it will not be 100 percent accurate)
How long the sound was sustained
What time you heard the sound
The city will be reporting their noise measurements on their website which you can reference. The information will get back to the event coordinators and (if you provide the time of the noise event) may be used to identify the source of the noise to make changes.
Do not expect an immediate solution as there is no immediate reporting, no mechanism to adjust sound and contracted sound levels the event must meet to full fill their contract with their artists.
The city has stated they will be actively monitoring the phone lines but we know of no defined plan to take action on complaints beyond reporting to the event coordinator the following day. The city has never had any mechanism to adjust sound for this event during its entire history.
The No Globe Alliance is hoping to use your reporting to discuss how future events are handled if the city elects to continue to hold this event. This is the last year of the SnowGlobe contract and any future events will require a new contract with the city.
Our goal this year has been to measure the sound per existing regulation, reduce the hours and pressure the event to reduce the noise if possible while protecting the fields. SnowGlobe has actively worked to reduce the noise and protect the fields and we continue to hope they are successful in doing so.
We will continue to work to modify, move or eliminate this event so long as local residents are impacted and pre-existing regulations are ignored.
The No Globe Alliance is a group of South Lake Tahoe residents organized to relocate, modify or eliminate SnowGlobe.