Neighbors calling for investigation into White Oak Music Hall

Many residents from a community just north of Downtown Houston attended a City Council meeting and demanded an investigation into the development plans for the White Oak Music Hall, a local music venue.

HOUSTON – Many residents from a community just north of Downtown Houston attended a City Council meeting and demanded an investigation into the development plans for the White Oak Music Hall, a local music venue.

The venue opened its doors in January 2016 at Main and North Streets, and since then residents say their homes have become unpleasant places to live.

The venue hosts concerts both indoors and out.

“The noise has got to stop,” said Cris Feldman, the attorney representing several residents.  

Residents say they can’t sleep and their homes shake from the music’s base.

“We've had children that have had trouble sleeping,” said complainant Heidi Green.

“This has had a really big impact on our family” added complainant Teresa Cabin. “[My son] Austin is autistic so he is very noise sensitive. He's been under the coffee table hiding, he's been in his closet. Sometimes he's aggressive at school because he didn't get a good night sleep the night before.”

“This isn't an isolated situation where it's just a couple of folks that don't want in their backyard, this is a whole community,” said Feldman.  

Nine people are listed on a lawsuit against the White Oak Music Hall, and in December a judge granted a restraining order, stopping any outdoor concerts until a hearing scheduled for Jan. 12.

However, residents are only upset with the venue but with the city as well. On Wednesday, they went before City Council and demanded an investigation into the venue’s development plans. They allege the city signed a rare emergency deal to share tax money with the venue’s developers.

“This should have never been permitted in the first place,” said Feldman.  

In regards to the venue, most concerts do end by 11 p.m. and the concert hall released the following statement in response to the restraining order:

“After being sued by a handful of nearby residents, White Oak Music Hall defended a request for a restraining order during a two-day court hearing. Over the past two days, Judge Gomez carefully weighed the concerns of both sides and, with great care, fashioned a short-term, 14-day order.  In crafting his order, he rejected the neighbors’ request to halt the development of White Oak Music Hall’s outdoor stage, which was the primary component of the neighbors’ request. The project to construct the permanent outdoor stage will move forward. Judge Gomez did, however, prohibit White Oak Music Hall and Raven Tower from hosting live music events with amplified sound for the next two weeks, with the exception of an event occurring on Saturday, December 17.  White Oak Music Hall and Raven Tower operate within the confines of the Houston sound ordinance, and we disagree that the concerts produce unreasonable noise.  Efforts to resolve this issue with the residents that have chosen to sue the venue will continue, but in the meantime, we look forward to hosting all our other shows and events scheduled for the indoor venues at White Oak Music Hall.”


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