At-Large Position 5
Noise, Chapter 30
Residents living near bars and nightclubs are continuously plagued with excessive late-night noise. Together with Council Members Kamin and Evans-Shabazz, I worked with Mayor Turner, civic club and super neighborhood leaders, the Neighborhood Beer Garden and Bar Association, and staff from ARA, city legal, and the Houston Police Department (HPD) to draft revisions aimed at strengthening the city’s noise ordinance. These changes were approved by city council on May 4, 2022, and effective September 6, 2022. Updates include:
- Increasing the maximum fine for violation from $1,000 to $2,000;
- Revising the requirement that a permit be issued to an establishment rather than an individual;
- Requiring a new commercial establishment permit for nightclubs, bars, and restaurants within 300 feet of a residence playing amplified sound that can be heard outdoors after proposed hours, 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Commercial establishments are restricted from playing any outdoor amplified sound between 2:00 and 8:00 a.m.; and
- Codifying and refining the administrative hearing process for revocation of a permit to focus on repeat violations. As part of the hearing process, the permittee will have the option to propose and implement a sound impact plan – a plan to mitigate loud noise going out into the neighborhood. If the hearing officer accepts the proposed sound impact plan, the business will have 90 days to implement it. If a plan is not offered, accepted, or implemented, it could result in an up-to 180-day suspension or one-year revocation.
Since the changes took effect, my team has been monitoring calls for service and citations at locations getting the most complaints. Tracking this data with ARA and HPD, I will push for administrative hearings for the most problematic bars. To report excessive noise in your neighborhood, please contact HPD’s non-emergency (713) 884-3131. We have also worked with ARA to share FAQS and other information on how to report loud noise.
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