TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After years of controversy, Tampa city leaders are considering a new noise ordinance to replace the one they repealed last month.
The new plan would only apply to the Channel District.
City Council members said they are trying to strike a balance between the needs of restaurants and entertainment establishments to successfully operate while allowing residents to enjoy the peace and comfort of their homes.
The Channel District has a large and growing residential population, as well as a growing issue of excessive noise from businesses.
“My message is to everybody else who is suffering from noise issues there are multiple efforts to try to come up with ideas to address it,” said Tampa City Council Member Bill Carlson.
Thursday council unanimously voted in favor of imposing a noise ordinance aimed at one single area, the Channel District.
This comes just weeks after the council repealed a much stricter noise ordinance that would have also impacted businesses in Ybor and South Howard.
Under the revised proposal, noise in Channelside would no longer be measured with a decibel reader.
“The effect of this ordinance would be to now place the channel district or have the channel district governed by the plainly audible standard for noise,” a city attorney said Thursday.
City officials said fines would be issued based on what officers perceive as “excessively loud” noise to the human ear.
An establishment first would get a five-minute warning to turn down the volume. After that, they could be fined by the police.
Residents who live in the Towers of Channelside spoke at the meeting Thursday to urge city leaders to pass the ordinance, and turn down the noise coming from nearby bars like Park & Rec.
“We in the towers need your continued understanding and support to stop or significantly curtail this unacceptable noise in our bedrooms, in a residential community,” said Larry Rinderknecht.
Others feel turning down the volume, will hurt the growing area.
“I don’t think it’s necessary, you know, we have a lot more younger generations that are moving down here. People want to be able to go out and have a good time. I work in the entertainment industry and honestly, I think it’s important being able to have that liveliness that grows in this area,” said Brian Thomas, who lives in Channelside.
News Channel 8 reached out to bar owners in Channelside for comment but did not hear back.
City council will hold a final vote on the ordinance on May 5. If passed, it would take effect immediately.