City Council passes revamped noise ordinance

October 12, 2011 10:42:34 AM PDT
Houston City Council has passed a revamped noise ordinance to provide a solid framework for complaints and citations.

The vote took place Wednesday morning and Council Member Mike Sullivan was the only 'No' vote.

The change could lead to more tickets being handed out. A lot of residents told us they are anxious for substantial changes while some bar owners are saying it would give too much power to police officers to subjectively issue tickets based on neighborhood complaints.

The city says it receives nearly 60,000 noise complaints per year and that today's revisions will:

  • Establish clear guidelines for HPD officers to respond to loud bass music without the need for a sound meter;
  • Improve language by adding or deleting provisions that inhibited Officer and citizen comprehension, and the ability of the City to rigorously prosecute violations.
  • The penalty for violating the Noise Ordinance is being doubled: from $500 to $1000.
  • Revise the permit structure to make it easier to comply with requirements: extended daily (up to 5 days) and annual permit terms.
  • Allow the City to revoke a sound permit for non-compliance and repeat violations.

Council agreed to revisit the ordinance in six months to make sure it's working as intended.

To report noise complaints, you may contact the HPD non-emergency line at 713-884-3131.

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