Noise Ordinance: Who Needs Sound Meters to Hand Out Tickets?
If you like your music loud -- legally loud -- you might think about heading to City Council this week.
The council will be considering revisions to the city's noise ordinance, the most controversial of which is a provision that says police can hand out tickets even if they don't have a sound meter to record violations.
How that's supposed to hold up in court is another matter, but that won't stop the cops from shutting down a show or party.
People like Omar Afra of the Free Press are urging residents to attend the open council meeting tomorrow to express their concerns. The actual vote on the ordinance will probably be put off for at least a week, but you can still make yourself -- wait for it -- heard. (Noise-ordinance fun with the language!!)
Afra paints a pretty dire picture.
Under the proposed revisions, someone could potentially end the music and dancing at the beloved Greek Festival with a single phone call. A downtown resident could stop a world-touring music artist at International Festival despite the fact that they have a sound permit issued by the City. Historic venues like Rudyard's, Fitzgerald's, and Last Concert, who have hosted myriad touring musical acts of the highest caliber, could be a thing of the past. Local musicians would be left with few if any places to perform. On a smaller but just as important level, family events like Quinceanaras and weddings which are often based around music would be stifled
He's overstating things, but tickets without meters does put a lot of power into cops who can make arbitrary rulings on what's too loud. The music in question has to have a big bass component, by the way, so bass players beware.
One aspect of the proposed ordinance no one (in their right mind) can argue with: Leaf-blowing machines can't be used before 8 a.m., as opposed to the current 7 a.m.
UPDATE: The ordinance passed -- click here for the report.