Rock band rehearsals upset neighbors

April 2, 2012 4:34:07 PM PDT
A family in northwest Harris County is fed up with what they call a noise nuisance near their home -- a rock band practicing at an auto shop. They say they've tried everything to keep the peace, and there may not be much they can do to get their neighbor to quiet down.

This is all taking place in the Stone Pine subdivision. The issue here is music. Is it too loud? Well, that depends on who you talk to.

Betty Morales enjoys where she lives, but she says peace and quiet is somewhat of a luxury.

"When I do get it, I try to absorb it as much as I can," she said.

The source of Morales' frustration lies just beyond her fence. She says while you can't see it, she certainly hears it.

"You could actually just feel the constant vibration just of the low boom," Morales explained. "You could just constantly feel that."

Musician Ricardo Kazibutowski and his rock band rehearse out of their studio located in his auto repair shop. He leases the space from BRW. They've been practicing here for several years.

Morales said, "You don't go to sleep until you know they are done."

Morales says she's called the sheriff's office many times over the years and has written numerous letters and emails -- to her commissioner, her state representative and, most recently, Kazibutowski.

Kazibutowski said, "I'm trying to help and reduce my practice loud noise."

Kazibutowski insists he wants to be a good neighbor. He says his band now practices two days a week instead of four and claims to have spent about $300 on additional soundproofing materials.

"While we're playing you can talk outside," he said. "It's not that loud like it was before."

So what's Morales to do? Unincorporated Harris County doesn't have a noise ordinance and Texas law says anything lower than 85 decibels is deemed reasonable.

"This isn't the way you should treat neighbors," Morales said. "That's just the way I see it. I'm just hoping that you know they have plenty of room on their side and they could probably move it. "

Morales or anyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation could check with the Harris County Attorney's Office to explore possible options.

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