Legislative Update

Volume CVI, No. 1January, 2006

Heather Beaudoin


Intro 397-A is legislation recently passed by the New York City Council that has revised the city’s thirty-year-old noise code. New York City Council Members Gennaro, Avella, Comrie, Fidler, Jackson, Provenzano, Recchia, Weprin, Liu, Addabbo and the Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum sponsored the legislation.

The most important provisions of the new noise code include:

  • Requires bars to keep music below a specific decibel level and does not penalize live music.
  • Restricts excessive noise from construction sites and bans construction work between before 7am and after 8pm on weekdays.
  • Forbids sanitation or other large trucks from operating in residential areas at night.
  • Allows Mr. Softee ice cream trucks to play jingles only when they are in motion.
  • Adds noise from motorcycles, car radios, and portable stereos to the city’s regulations.
  • Forbids continuous animal noise inside a residence for more than 10 minutes between the hours of 7am and 10pm or for more than 5 minutes after 10pm.

The regulations also impose new fines, ranging from $50 to $8,000, for those that break law.

Mayor Bloomberg, who signed the legislation on December 29, 2005, stated: “Noise complaints continue to be the number one quality of life issue for New York City residents. In fiscal year 2005, the City’s 3-1-1 hotline logged over 335,000 noise complaints. Unfortunately, the City’s noise code is over 30 years old and is archaic and out of date. The legislation before me today establishes a flexible, yet enforceable noise code that responds to the need for peace and quiet while maintaining New York’s reputation as the ‘city that never sleeps.’”


The Center for an Urban Future released a report in December entitled “Creative New York” that outlines the numbers and issues within this sector. Some of the key findings include:

  • As of 2002, New York City’s creative workforce totaled 309,142 people, accounting for more than 8.1% of all those employed in the five boroughs.
  • There are 11,671 businesses and non-profits in New York’s creative core.
  • In recent years New York has lost some of its market share in certain industries, but it is still the unrivaled center of the creative economy in the United States, accounting for 8.3% of all creative sector workers nationwide. Internationally, only London, which has a creative workforce of nearly 525,000 people, boasts a larger creative workforce than New York.
  • In recent years, the creative core has been one of the more dependable growth areas for the city’s economy. Between 1998 and 2002, employment in New York’s creative core grew by 13.1% (adding 32,000 jobs) while the city’s overall job totals increased by 6.5% during this period.
  • Across the sector, the number one reason creative businesses choose to operate in New York is access to the city’s tremendous pool of talented and skilled workers.


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.’s chairman Dick Parsons and its president & CEO Jonelle Procope to celebrate the completion of the first phase of renovations to the historic Apollo Theater on West 125th Street in Harlem. Phase I renovations are estimated at $24 million; the City’s Economic Development Corporation administered $11.9 million in City funding for the project, which was provided by Mayor Bloomberg, the Manhattan Borough President and Councilmember Bill Perkins. The entire restoration project is estimated at approximately $65 million and will be completed in mid-2009.