published Thursday, July 10th, 2014

City Beat: Track 29 not the only noise ordinance issue

There is little doubt that since opening in August 2011, Track 29 has made a tremendous impact on the music scene in our city. It has filled a hole that was lacking because of its size and because co-owners Monica and Adam Kinsey did their homework prior to opening and created a venue that appeals to fans and musicians who play there.

It has presented some of the biggest names in music, acts like Jack White and The Avett Brothers, hosted fundraising events for local organizations and had more sold-out shows than we are accustomed to seeing. In 2013, it was named the third-most-popular music venue in the Southeast behind the Tabernacle in Atlanta and the Orange Peel in Asheville, N.C., and 78th in the world. This is based on ticket sales.

The club has done more to increase our city’s cool factor as related to music than anything else I can think of. That is not a knock on other venues or events. It’s just the truth.

However, it also has been a real nuisance for homeowners who live on Adams and Jefferson streets, just a few hundred feet from the back of the club. Music from the louder shows rattles their windows and dishes.

We had a club near our house for almost five years that generated such a nuisance. Unlike at Track 29, where shows usually end no later than midnight, the music at Deep Blue didn’t start until around then and ended at 3 a.m., at which time it moved out into the parking lots. It was pretty horrible.

So, what is the solution? No one, including the folks who live in the nearby neighborhood, want to see Track 29 go away. They are not the only people bothered by noise from a nearby club or venue in our city, so the issue is broader than just Track 29.

The Track 29 neighbors want to see the club improve its soundproofing to keep the music inside, obviously, but they also would like to see the city’s noise ordinance toughened. Many clubs view the current $50 fine as simply part of the cost of doing business, so it should certainly be given more teeth, and it should be clarified to be fair to everyone.

While it’s not clear yet what will or can be done so that Track 29 and its neighbors are happy, the best hope is the city finds a workable long-term solution. We need venues like Track 29, but people should be able to enjoy their own homes as well.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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