Council committee, pet hotel reach compromise on noise ordinance

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The Carmel City Council is one step closer to updating its noise ordinance in response to complaints from a resident who lives near a pet hotel.

The council’s finance, utilities and rules committee unanimously voted May 29 to send the revised noise ordinance to the full council for a vote at its June 3 meeting.

One proposed change limits sounds from a business within 50 feet of a residential unit to no more than 70 decibels – equivalent to sounds produced by a vacuum cleaner – for more than 10 minutes on aggregate within a 20-minute period of time as measured from the residential property line.

The council began reviewing its noise ordinance after a resident who lives near Best Friends Pet Hotel on Gradle Drive complained about barking dogs. Best Friends has operated in the same location for more than 30 years, long before apartments were built nearby.

Attorney Eric Schmadecke, who spoke on behalf of Best Friends Pet Hotel, said his client is on board with the proposed updates.

“This was a compromise on the city’s part, which we appreciate, and on Best Friends’ part,” Schmadecke said. “Based on our numbers it’s going to be tight in some ways, but we believe with some management training this allows enough flexibility if there are situations where staff can tell the noise level is elevated.”

The city has been reviewing the issue since the fall of 2018. During that time Best Friends hired a sound engineer to measure the noise produced on site and develop solutions to mitigate it.

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