Recreation & Parks Commission,
I am highly concerned about the proposal to change the sound standards for the City of Davis. My understanding from articles written by former mayor Joe Krovoza is that standards are in consideration to be changed in terms of duration, levels, and measurement of peaks.
I have aural nerve damage in one ear and so have had to, out of necessity, learn how sound affects the human body. Loud sounds can cause me
My ear doctor explains that there is a 'threshold' level at which the noise becomes damaging to hearing (in my case, the threshold is much lower than those with a healthy ear). The PEAK noise is almost always the problem. Therefore, changing the city noise ordinance to consider some AVERAGE measurement as the standard is not only unwise, it is INSANE.
To give an example of how unwise this is, an example everyone can understand - consider train horns. A train horn -- at 100' in front of the horn -- ranges from 96 to 110 db. Even at the low end this is painfully loud, and on the high end can cause ear damage in just a few seconds. But,
While I am more bothered by sound than those with healthy hearing, ear disease is rampant and hugely under-diagnosed in this country. There are many people with my condition and many other hearing diseases who are intolerant of various sound conditions. This is not just about an annoyance, it is at times debilitating.
Another thing to consider is that those close to a noise source suffer from the exposure repeatedly and over time. Those adjacent to noise sources are the people who must be considered paramount and above all else. Let's say a nightclub with sub-woofers goes in next door to someone's house. But ON AVERAGE less than 1% of the people in town even hear the noise. The standard must be on how the noise effects those adjacent, not on the fact that 99% of Davis voters never hear it. Another abominable use of 'average' exposure.
I urge the commission, the City, and the Council to retain current noise-ordinance formulas and standards, and reject any attempt to change the noise ordinance to be more allowing of harmful peak noise exposures.
Alan C. Miller, District 3