Sound on Sound
While the designation of the Music Department and its charge of developing infrastructure foreground the task force's recommendations, each of the four subcommittees have contributed goals, as well, both immediate and long-term. Here are some highlights from the report.
The Live Music Venues Subcommittee
• Adopt a definition for a live-music venue that's inclusive but doesn't include "venues who offer live music without consideration of the law, neighborhood concerns, the necessity for proper gear and engineering, staff, etc."
• Consider incentives and minimize fees to live-music venues to enhance soundproofing and energy efficiency.
Musician Services Subcommittee
• Offer financial support to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians and the SIMS Foundation, and help connect musicians with their services.
• Research the possibility of creating a physical-health facility for musicians.
• Promote affordable housing through incentives to builders and designate specific artist/musician housing within an affordable-housing matrix.
• Provide designated parking Downtown and incentives for parking-lot owners to offer space for musicians.
• Centralize resources for job training for music-industry professionals and loans for businesses and education.
Sound Enforcement & Control Subcommittee
• Train and qualify sound engineers through a certification program, and require all outdoor music venues to utilize city-approved engineers.
• Recommend all new commercial venues adhere to enhanced soundproofing construction and future residents of nearby venues be notified and sign acknowledgments of proximal live music.
• Transfer enforcement responsibilities outside the proposed Downtown Entertainment District from the Police Department to the Public Assembly Code Enforcement.
• Collect data and provide an annual sound-complaint report.
• Enact penalties following three violations within a year and city-facilitated mediation between venues and neighborhoods following three separate validated complaints.
Entertainment Districts Subcommittee
• Create a large, centrally located Downtown Entertainment District that includes loading zones, density bonuses, transit hubs, designated busking areas, and new sound ordinances.
• Establish process for creating satellite districts with adjusted benefits.