Turn It Down: Houston City Council Passes Stricter Noise Ordinance

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

As we mentioned yesterday, City Council discussed a new, restrictive noise ordinance Tuesday and didn't even tag it, which will let cops hand out tickets even if they don't have sound meters. The changes passed easily, with only council member Mike Sullivan voting against it.

Mayor Annise Parker said the city receives 60,000 noise complaints a year, and the changes to the ordinance were needed to address that problem.

Opponents argued the new law gives cops too much arbitrary power, and could endanger popular bars in dense neighborhoods, such as Rudyard's.

The key changes:

-- HPD officers can now enforce complaints about loud bass music without the need for a sound meter

-- Fines for violating the ordinance double to $1,000 from the current $500

What's too loud?

Anything over 65 decibels during the day and 58 at night in residential areas. Businesses with special permits can go up to 75 decibels until 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For bars and clubs in residential areas, including those who were there before housing sprung up around them, this could be a huge problem. Stay tuned.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.