TAMPA, Fla. - The City of Tampa held its second community listening session Monday to gather input on potential changes to the city’s noise ordinance.
Representatives from the city and the Tampa Police Department heard an earful from neighbors who reported myriad noise issues keeping them up at night: Businesses, house parties, and loud car sound systems among them.
"When we get woken up at two or three o’clock in the morning with these guys in their loud trucks and their boom, boom, boom, boom music it’s very disturbing," said one woman.
Several neighbors reported being awoken at night by vibrations in their walls or windows caused by subwoofers.
"Riverside Heights has been going through quite a renaissance with new building and neighbors coming in, but unfortunately I’ve noticed the neighborhood has gone from a serene place in the city to a place where people make noise rather carelessly," reported one man.
Several business owners attended the meeting asked that the city consider their needs as well by not clamping down too harshly on music and operating hours, especially in entertainment districts like SoHo, Ybor City, and downtown.
Tampa's noise ordinance has been on the books for years but as the city has grown, city council members are being asked to consider changes in order to find a balance, especially in areas that have seen an influx in both new businesses and neighbors.
"We see that throughout downtown and the channel area you have a lot of new apartments, you have existing condos, and at the same time you have the arena, and other events that take place down there," said Tampa City Councilman Guido Maniscalco. "Ybor City is also evolving from what people assumed would just be nightclubs on Seventh Avenue. Now you have a lot of residents coming back in. The concerns are changing, the demographics are changing, and we're just trying to move forward in the best way by listening to the concerns of the individuals."
In May, Tampa City Council set new rules on excessive noise in the Channelside district. After a heated debate over decibel measurements, council members reversed course on how to define a noise violation. If a noise complaint is now called in, an officer will make their own judgement call on whether the noise being made is excessive.
City officials plan to consider new changes for the city-wide ordinance in October.
The next noise ordinance listening session will be held Wednesday, July 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ragan Park Community Center.