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Posted on: September 14, 2021

City Council Recap for Sept. 13, 2021

City Council

Changes to the City of Las Cruces Noise Ordinance could soon be offered to the Las Cruces City Council for consideration.

At its Work Session on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, City Council discussed recommendations that came from a preliminary study that was completed in February 2019 by Bohannan Huston. The independent study has determined the City Noise Ordinance is subjective. Also, decibel levels in the Ordinance are not mentioned or defined, making the Ordinance hard to enforce.

In 2021, the City received 737 noise complaints from March through early September. The primary source of noise complaints in the City are from vehicles that have modified exhaust systems or are playing loud music. The second-most noise complaints are of live music; and one to two complaints a month were about noise from Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs).

The study has proposed setting a level of 72 decibels, at a distance of 25 feet from the noise source, as a generally acceptable noise level in commercial and industrial zones during daytime hours; 67 decibels, both day and night, in residential zones, and 67 decibels at night in commercial and industrial zones. However, there was City Council discussion that noise levels vary throughout the City and the recommended decibel levels in the study might not be suitable in commercial or industrial areas.

There was agreement among Council members that a balance in noise levels should be struck. The Council also agreed that any amendments to the City’s Noise Ordinance may be reviewed by policy review committees established by the City.

Additionally, City Council discussed the merits of implementing net zero Energy Use in City Buildings. The City’s Sustainability Office presented recommended actions that City Council could enact to transition to net zero.

Net zero is an effort to meet a building’s or a community’s energy needs through renewable energy and other complementary sustainable practices. The transition to net zero could reduce cost burden, improve health, and help achieve goals outlined in the City’s Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gases.

Among the recommendations presented to the Council included the development of either an Ordinance or Resolution that would require any new construction of City government buildings to utilize net zero policies and practices. The City has already implemented some of those practices, including the use of solar energy and the installation of electric vehicle chargers at some City facilities.

Also, the Council discussed the merits of possibly developing City buildings as all-electric buildings, and the possibilities of incentivizing builders to some day develop all electric subdivisions. Some Council members and City staff agreed that working toward electrification transition could achieve potential financial savings for low- and moderate-income City residents in the future.

A Resolution supporting net zero practices in City buildings is anticipated to be presented soon to City Council for formal consideration and adoption.

Due to technical difficulties, internet broadcasts of Monday’s City Council Work Session on clctv.com and at YouTube.com/clctv20 were not available. However, Monday’s Work Session was recorded and has been uploaded to the City’s YouTube channel, at YouTube.com/clctv20.

Rebroadcasts of Monday’s Work Session will occur as usual at various times throughout the week on CLC-TV, Comcast Cable channel 20.

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