Few people understand how disruptive noise pollution is until they experience it firsthand. While noise pollution can occur at any time of the day, many victims experience it at night when they are unable to sleep due to the noise. Noise complaints are a big problem in Houston because the city does not have any zoning laws, meaning businesses can set up shop in the middle of neighborhoods.
The Houston Sound Ordinance
Zoning requirements may not restrict individuals and businesses, but everyone is expected to abide by the Houston Sound Ordinance. The Houston Sound Ordinance protects citizens from all types of noise, including cars and motor vehicles, music, animals, loud machinery, or any other type of disruptive noise. Sound cannot exceed 65 decibels during the day and 58 decibels during the night in residential areas. Permits can allow businesses to have sound up to 75 decibels until 10pm on Sunday through Thursday and 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Top Sources of Noise Complaints
Thousands of noise complaints are made to the City of Houston each year regarding a wide variety of offenders. However, there are a few top offenders that make up most of the sound complaints.
Restaurants and bars are a common source of noise complaints for obvious reasons. These buildings not only house large numbers of people, but they often also feature loud music. Whether the music is live or recorded, it can easily exceed the maximum allowed noise levels. Because these places are often open late, neighbors often lose sleep over noise levels.
Noises complaints are also filed against buildings with noisy generators or HVAC systems. These types of machinery are extremely loud and often operate for hours at a time. All types of buildings, including grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping centers, among many others, utilize these types of machines, but they are still expected to keep noise levels within legal limits.
Specialty businesses, such as mechanics, gun ranges, and construction sites can also produce sound that is well over the legal limit. These locations utilize machines that create a lot of noise and steps must be taken to minimize noise disturbance.
Houston Noise Complaint Lawyers
There is no excuse for disturbing the peace. We have achieved success in multiple high-profile noise complaint cases in Houston. If a business is violating the Houston Sound Ordinance and refuses to abide by legal sound limits, contact Feldman & Feldman today to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys to discuss your legal options.