After more than a year of discussions and excessive noise complaints from nearby neighbors, the fate of the Larsa Event Center is still unknown as the Stanislaus Planning Commission asked staff to bring back the item for consideration at a future meeting.
As of October, 67 noise complaints had been filed against the Larsa Banquet Hall in the last five years, namely by Amethyst Way neighbors. The facility is owned by the Mar Addai Church and located at 2107 E. Monte Vista Ave., in Denair.
Some neighbors took to the podium before the Stanislaus County Planning Commission in October to express their exasperation and concerns when the commission convened to decide whether or not to revoke the center’s license. However, no decision was reached as Stanislaus County Counsel discovered that the noise ordinance within the Stanislaus County Code could be unenforceable.
The May 7 meeting was an echo of the October meeting as the commission decided once again to bring the item back at a future meeting.
“The planning commission met and heard from staff, Larsa’s attorney, and the neighbors. The planning commission decided to direct staff to bring back an item for their consideration to determine whether or not to modify or revoke Larsa’s Conditional Use Permit,” said Deputy County Counsel Thomas Boze.
Since October a study was conducted in collaboration between the County’s noise consultant, Ryan Smith of Elk Grove-based company AEC, and Larsa’s noise consultant. The noise study was performed under controlled conditions as the consultants placed an amplified music noise source inside of the building, similar to music that would be played at events typically held at Larsa, said Boze.
“The objective wasn’t to determine if Larsa violated the noise ordinance. We went to determine the noise profile with a known input,” said Boze.
Sound levels were measured inside the hall as well as various points outside, including inside a bedroom of one of the two-story Amethyst Way homes. The study determined that there was an impact on the neighbors.
“Even if Larsa is in compliance with the county’s noise ordinance there is still an impact from the noise,” explained Boze.
The roof has proven to be one reason as to why noise is escaping the hall because it does not reduce the noise being emitted from Larsa, one reason individuals standing near the building may not hear the noise as a problem. While the noise consultants suggested considering mitigating the impact through amendments to the roof, it is an expensive option.
“Controlling the noise at the source is really being presented by the noise consultant as the way to fix this issue,” said Boze.
The planning commission will further review the study’s findings along with other evidence to determine if it is sufficient to modify or revoke Larsa’s permit. Within the next 60 to 90 days the item will reappear before the Stanislaus Planning Commission.