City of Emeryville August 2017 Monthly Highlights: Noise Ordinance Update, Summer Recess

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The City of Emeryville provides a monthly progress report outlining significant developments and milestones that occurred throughout the period. City Council and most committees did not meet in August due to summer recess but there was a special community meeting held on August 16th to solicit input on a forthcoming update to the City’s noise ordinance. A contract with Environmental Science Associates was approved by City Council on July 25th to help facilitate this, for an amount not to exceed $62,000.

Please note that the summaries provided are taken directly from the text of these reports.

August Highlights of the Month

The Planning Commission approved a modification of the existing “Art.com” signs at 2100 Powell Street to remove the multi-color LED “light pucks” and add white acrylic letter faces to be internally illuminated with white LED modules. The new signs include a dimmer switch, and will be dimmed to a satisfactory level if they are determined to be too bright. The Commission’s action also included rescinding the previous permit for the multi-color LED signs, which had been very controversial due to their initial brightness.

The construction noise waiver for Saturday work at the Public Market that was approved by the City Council on July 25 is being referred back to the Council on September 19 for consideration of revocation or modification, due to work starting before the allowed time on two Saturdays.

Staff met with the developer and architect team for a new eight-story 259-unit residential building with 10,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space that is proposed at 5850 Shellmound Way, at the northeast corner of Shellmound Way and Christie Avenue.

A community meeting was held on August 16 at ECCL to solicit comments on the issues that need to be considered in the update of the City’s noise ordinance, for which a contract was approved by the City Council on July 25.

A building permit application was received for the residential component of Public Market Parcel C, which will “wrap” the New Seasons grocery store and parking structure on the north
and west sides.

As previously authorized by the City Council, staff accepted a bid and secured a contractor to perform abatement duties of the dilapidated house at 1264 Ocean Avenue. Meanwhile, the property owner was awarded a temporary stay by the Hayward Superior Court, so the City’s actions are now on hold. A hearing to review the stay is scheduled for September 27.

Staff and consultants conducted a Minimum Wage Information Workshop on August 4 at ECCL that was attended by seven businesses and one community member.

View the entire progress report on Emeryville.org →

Noise Ordinance Update Community Meeting

A community meeting was held on August 16th at ECCL to solicit comments on the issues that need to be considered. A question was raised as to whether one of the goals was to reduce the overall noise level in the City. It was noted that enforcing speed limits was one of the ways to reduce noise.

One citizen expressed concern regarding the freeway noise emanating from I-580 and the possibility of constructing a sound wall. Another citizen noted some of the biggest noise makers to be Waste Management trucks, street sweepers, dogs, leaf blowers and ambulances.

The next step in the Noise Ordinance Update is to conduct a City-wide noise survey to quantify existing noise levels at noise sensitive land uses. This is tentatively scheduled for mid-September.

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The City of Emeryville

employs a Council-Manager form of Municipal Government where the five elected council people appoint a professional city manager to carry out day-to-day administrative operations.

Emeryville is a 1.2 square mile city located in Alameda County and founded in 1896. It has an estimated population of 11,721 as of 2016.


  1. Let Emeryville gov’t invest in a long postponed sound study required to create NO TRAIN HORN ZONE at all our crossings. The sound blasts create the most dangerous levels of sound pollution by far.

    Besides reducing property values, the train horns are loud, invasive, persistent, nervewracking, disruptive, and a health hazard when they blow 24/7 train—–including especially the engineer who blasts through at 1 am.

    If train sound pollution is included on the survey, it’s guaranteed to be the winner considering how many residents live in the 5 condos next to the rail line. We can’t wait for the Port of Oakland to pay for it. What benefit do they get out of it?

    My nerves are shot due to the unexpected random assault on my hearing, nervous system, and of the soot on my breathing. Anyone else?

    Don’t tell me to move. I’ve been a resident for 19 years — long before the Federal gov’t passed the law requiring horn blasts at crossings.

  2. Seriously. The train horns have become more frequent they have happening at all hours of the night. Sometimes the train conductor leans on the horn for so long it verges on the sadistic. Why do we allow this? Please please please implement quiet crossings.

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