(Follow-up Note: We had to apologize to KHON. In our haste we responded to concerts in "Industrial Areas," whereas his email addressed "Business District." We explained that Business Districts are Class B zoning areas and, therefore, using the Table below, the noise levels are more restrictive than for "Industrial." Our other comments and references are accurate.)
We're pursuing a follow-up story to the one we aired on our newscast last night - about a concert last Saturday night off 909 Kapiolani Boulevard in Kakaako.
Apparently - the business that allowed the concert on its property claims it can make noise because the venue is in a business district.
No one seems to be taking jurisdiction on this matter of large and loud concerts in business districts.
Assignment Desk Manager
Quieter O'ahu Response:
Industrial areas do not, in fact, have carte blanche to create noise. The Hawai'i Department of Health, State of Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 11, Chapter 46 (subsection 11-46-3) establishes zoning classifications for the island of O'ahu. Specifically:
"Zoning districts" means the land use districts established by rules or ordinances adopted by council, legislature, county, or state government agencies.
§11-46-3 Classification of zoning districts. This section shall describe the zoning districts as specified in Table I, maximum permissible sound levels in dBA, found in section 11-46-4, and as provided in section 11-46-4:
(1) Class A zoning districts include all areas equivalent to lands zoned residential, conservation, preservation, public space, Open space, or similar type.
(2) Class B zoning districts include all areas equivalent to lands zoned for multi-family dwellings, apartment, business, commercial, hotel, resort, or similar type.
(3) Class C zoning districts include all areas equivalent to lands zoned agriculture, country, industrial, or similar type.
Therefore, an "Industrial Area" would be defined as zoning Class C.
At subsection 11-46-4 the rules outline maximum permissible noise levels for each of these zones as:
§11-46-4 Maximum permissible sound levels in dBA
(a) The maximum permissible sound levels specified in Table I, as provided in this subsection and in section 11-46-3, shall apply to the following excessive noise sources: stationary noise sources; and equipment related to agricultural, construction, and industrial activities.
Table I. Maximum permissible sounds levels in dBA.
Zoning Districts Daytime (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) Nighttime (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.)
Class A 55 45
Class B 60 50
Class C 70 70
(b) The maximum permissible sound levels in Table I, as provided in subsection (a), shall apply to any excessive noise source emanating within the specified zoning district, and at any point at or beyond (past) the property line of the premises in a manner deemed appropriate by the director.
(c) Noise levels shall not exceed the maximum permissible sound levels for more than ten per cent of the time within any twenty minute period, except by permit or variance' issued under sections 11-46-7 and 11-46-8.
We see from the above table that the maximum daytime and nighttime noise level for Zone C is 70dBA. While there are numerous noise level comparison charts available, this link is to the California Department of Transportation noise level comparison chart: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist2/projects/sixer/loud.pdf
Note that subpara (c) immediately above references subsections 11-46-7 and 11-46-8. You can find these at this link: http://www.nonoise.org/lawlib/states/hawaii/hawaii.htm . In essence there are no variances for concert noise, and if you're planning a concert that will exceed 70dBA then a Noise Permit issued by the Hawai'i Department of Health is required. Guidance for these permits can be found at: http://health.hawaii.gov/irhb/noiseforms/ . Also, you may want to contact the Department of Health for their perspective on concert permitting. Their contact information is:
Indoor and Radiological Health Branch
99-945 Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, HI 96701
Phone: (808) 586-4700
Fax: (808) 586-5838
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:45am – 4:30pm (except for State holidays)
Jeffrey Eckerd, Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
1. An industrial area is not exempt from noise regulations
2. Concerts "should" require a Noise Permit from the Dept of Health
3. Enforcement of noise that does not have a noise permit is the jurisdiction of HPD. Any citizen aware of noise like this can call HPD and request that they verify that a noise permit has been issued and what were the parameters of the permit (time, duration, noise, etc.).
Hope this is helpful.
A Quieter O'ahu