In 2005, the Cities of Richfield, Minneapolis, and Eagan were parties to litigation related to airport noise against the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). In October 2007, the lawsuit was settled and under the terms of the settlement, MAC is providing varying degrees of noise mitigation measures to single and multi-family homes. Additionally, as part of the settlement Consent Decree, all of the affected cities were required to formally consider a draft ordinance (prepared by MAC) for airport noise attenuation by September 1, 2008.
In July 2008, the Planning Commission and City Council held hearings regarding the proposed ordinance. The City Council voted to reject the proposed ordinance and directed staff to write an ordinance that was specific to the needs and goals of the community. On March 10, 2009 the City Council adopted an ordinance that reflected the community’s needs for noise mitigation, without putting undue burden on homeowners.
The ordinance recommends that homeowners who are remodeling or adding on to existing homes consider noise mitigation measures, but will not require such measures. This allows for the City of Richfield to promote the rehabilitation of existing homes, without being a deterrent for homeowners to make such improvements. For new residential construction it is much easier to require noise attenuation measures, since most of these projects will be brought to the City’s attention before construction plans or work would begin.
The ordinance requires the following for new single-family and multi-family construction:
- 2007 63+ or greater DNL Contours shall utilize building materials with a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of at least 40 and shall include installation of central air conditioning and mechanical ventilation throughout the habitable area of the structure; and
- 2007 60-62 DNL Contours must include the installation of central air conditioning and mechanical ventilation throughout the habitable areas of the structure.
The map shows the locations where this ordinance recommendations and requirements are located.
Consider reviewing and implementing some of the tips in this handout for insulating your home for airport noise.