Austin's Design Commission vote for further study on downtown sound mitigation

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by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

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Posted on November 26, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 26 at 11:21 PM

AUSTIN – A unanimous vote by Austin’s Design Commission Monday night recommended that the Austin City Council do more studying of the issue of noise mitigation in multiple-dwellings downtown such as, hotels, condos and apartments. 

“We have actually found that the problem is a lot larger than what we had started and the solutions are a lot broader than what we had just started. So I think this is a great first step and this is going to lead to a lot of discussions and hopefully a way for all of this to coexist,” said James Shieh, head of Austin’s Design Commission.
 
A year ago Austin City Council directed Staff to study the issue of noise mitigation in downtown buildings.
 
A few months ago, city staffers came back with a recommendation to the Design Commission that future multiple-dwellings downtown should include laminated coverings over glass to buffer the noise.
 
On Monday night, the Design Commission decided that lamination wasn’t enough and they voted unanimously to recommend that Austin City Council take a deeper look at the issue.
 
“There's a lot more people coming to downtown and there's a lot more activities and it's a blessing and a curse, but there's a way to allow it to exist,” Shieh said.
 
The Design Commission isn’t alone in tackling the monumental task of finding solutions for future and current buildings housing people downtown. Austin’s Music Commission is also working with stakeholders in hopes of finding solutions.
 
On Monday a time table on when we could expect suggestions on sound mitigation solutions wasn’t clear.

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