Sound plan

An effective sound plan helps you balance your entertainment goals with those of the community.

Not all questions apply to your business. Answer all that are relevant both indoor and outdoor.


  • Describe the position of speakers to deflect or absorb excessive noise.
  • Tell us how you will minimize low-frequency music beats.
  • Tell us when you will turn down the music and what time you turn off the speakers.

Closing time

  • Tell us when you will stop serving alcohol, turn up lights, and when you will be turning down the music.
  • Tell us what time you will seat your last customers, how you will tell customers of closing time, and what time you will ask customers to leave.
  • Describe how you will manage noisy customers.
  • Tell us how you will remind customers to lower their voices to respect residents. This includes customers who park on residential streets.

Outdoor capacity

  • List the capacity of your outdoor area.
  • Describe how you will manage the area to prevent over occupancy.
  • Describe how the seating design will minimize or deflect excessive sound.


  • Describe your sound metering equipment and/or music systems with self-regulators, and how you plan to use them.


  • Describe sound management training for managers, supervisors, bartenders, hosts, servers, and security staff. Include a list of their duties, including the frequency of rounds.
  • Describe how you will remind, relocate, and/or remove noisy customers.
  • Describe your community outreach. This can include neighborhood association meetings or downtown LINC meetings, for example.

Special events

  • Describe your plans for special events in the city.


  • Describe how you will address sound complaints? This can include a telephone number other than your business number for residents to call for sound concerns.

Architectural design or enhancements

  • Describe the use of sound blocking walls, fences, and/or landscape.
  • How you plan to direct sound away from occupied buildings.

Additional resources

Contact Environmental Services Information for more resources and solutions.   

Here are common concerns.

  • Plans to use an outdoor area.
  • Seating capacity over 200 people.
  • Amplified sound.
  • Located in a residential area.
  • All customers leaving at closing time.
  • Customers parking in residential areas.
  • Mechanical equipment located within 100 feet of a residential area.
  • Routine maintenance schedule for mechanical equipment.
  • Complaints received about sound.
  • Interest in learning more about sound management plans and products to measure and regulate sound. This includes sound engineers, sound meters, for example.

Contact us

Environmental Services Information