Business owners claim losses over City of Houston's noise ordinance

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by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on December 21, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 21 at 12:28 PM

HOUSTON—Hundreds of musicians and bar owners packed a nightclub in the Heights Tuesday night to make noise over a noise ordinance opponents blame for harming Houston’s live music industry.

“It takes four to six hundred dollars a month out of my income,” said Steve Bundrick, a music producer who’s leading the charge against the new rules adopted by city council members last October.

“It’s putting folks out of business,” Bundrick said. “I’ve got letters from establishments that have stopped doing live music because they’ve got $5,000 worth of tickets.”

Houston’s noise ordinance establishes sound limits of 65 decibels during the day and up to 75 at night. It also grants police the authority to issue tickets based primarily on their own judgment without having to perform a decibel reading.

Fines for violators have also been doubled to a thousand dollars. Excessive noise generates close to 60,000 citizen complaints each year. Police told opponents at the meeting that the community needed to work together to solve the issue.

But opponents signed a petition calling on city leaders to roll back the measure and stop enforcement until officials have time to study the matter.

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