New Asheville Sound Code Limits Volume As Council Leaves Room For Adjustments

Jul 29, 2021

Protesters in front of the Vance Monument, June 1, 2020. There are concerns that enforcement of the new sound ordinance could open the door for police to crack down on protesters.
Credit Matt Bush | BPR News

A new noise ordinance in Asheville goes into effect in mid-September. For the first time in 20 years, City Council on Tuesday approved ceilings and specific hours for sound levels, with separate limits for sound coming from residential, commercial and industrial districts.


Those limits are 72 decibels anywhere in the central business district, 70 in industrial zones and 65 in commercially zoned districts between 7am and 10pm. The sound limits drop for late-night and early-morning hours. Businesses can apply for exceptions, but there are annual caps to those requests. The new code goes into effect Sept. 15.


In the audio above, hear BPR's Matt Peiken in conversation with "All Things Considered" host Helen Chickering about details of the ordinance, summary of Tuesday's public hearing and potential impact on Asheville's music community.