The city’s Board of Supervisors passed new legislation aimed at protecting live music venues and other businesses from noise-related lawsuits.
According to the SF Chronicle, the original legislation was introduced last December by board president London Breed. The measure prevents SF residents from suing venues over noise complaints as long as the club is operating within its original permit.
The new legislation also requires developers and city agencies to work much closer with venues and neighbors to notify nearby residents of noisy businesses before they buy or sign a lease. The ultimate goal, according to city leaders, is to take all of the necessary steps to prevent noise complaints from happening, while also not inhibiting any new real estate development.
The City of San Francisco can finally say that we have amazing nightlife and social spaces BECAUSE of government, not in spite of it. – Jocelyn Kane
“We believe it’s a first in the nation kind of law, and illustrates how the City of San Francisco can finally say that we have amazing nightlife and social spaces BECAUSE of government, not in spite of it. We hope to facilitate creative and positive discussion between builders, developers, and the creatives who open and run nightlife and social spaces in this city,” said the Executive Director of San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission Jocelyn Kane to SF Station today.
The new legislation comes as a welcome reprieve for live music venues in San Francisco. Space in San Francisco is currently a premium and large developers have their eyes on the city’s mixed-use neighborhoods to build new residential properties. In recent years, music venues have been hit with lawsuits from residents in neighborhoods such as the Dogpatch, Upper Market and the Mission.
Some of these complaints have led to expensive soundproofing upgrades and in some instances, venue closures. Examples of the latter fate include Cafe du Nord, The Sound Factory and The Lexington, who each recently changed ownership, closed or will soon close after new construction nearby. Cafe Du Nord recently reopened as Swedish American Music Hall for Noise Pop festival earlier this year.