Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lawsuit challenges Tampa noise ordinance

TAMPA — Lawyer Mark Bentley sued the city of Tampa over its noise ordinance Wednesday, saying the local law is unconstitutional and is trumped by county and state law.

In June, the City Council amended the city's noise ordinance to target drivers with stereos that are plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet. The ordinance includes fines of $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense and $450 for a third offense.

The council acted after residents, many from East Tampa, begged for relief from thumping car stereos that woke them in their beds, rattled their windows and disrupted their church services.

Police said before the vote that they got more than 6,000 noise complaints a year citywide.

Bentley's lawsuit contends that the city's ordinance directly contradicts a Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission noise rule that exempts sound from vehicles from regulation. He also says the city's ordinance is overly broad, seeking to regulate sound not only on city streets but on highways controlled by state and federal authorities.

While Bentley noted that Hillsborough County commissioners asked their staff last year to draft an ordinance similar to the city's, he said the county ordinance passed on Feb. 19 differs from the city's in several ways. He seeks a judgment ruling that the city's ordinance is pre-empted by the county's and state's laws.

City Attorney Julia Mandell said she had not had a chance to review the lawsuit and in any case does not comment on pending litigation.

Lawsuit challenges Tampa noise ordinance 03/05/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Estimated 5,000 people marvel at MOSI over solar eclipse

    Human Interest

    Packing pinhole cereal box viewers, cardboard glasses and curiosity, solar gawkers gathered outside Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry on Monday for a show that required no ticket.

    At center, Sophia Butter, 8, and Kristina Butera, both of Valrico, watch the sun through eclipse viewing glasses during a solar eclipse party Monday at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. MOSI will reopen after renovations on November 18. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  2. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh


    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  3. Tampa officer treated for knee injury after police truck, police SUV collide


    Times staff

    TAMPA — A Tampa police officer was treated and released for a knee injury when his unmarked police truck collided with a patrol SUV while the officers were tracking a stolen car, a police spokesman said.

  4. Waiting for the eclipse: 'Everyone thinks this is cool'

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

    Jayda Hebert (front, center), 11, uses her protective glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse with her cousin, Judah Adams (back left), 11, and her brother Jake Hebert (right), 9, while with their family at St. Petersburg Beach. "We're skipping school for the eclipse," her mom, Sarah Hebert, said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Second person resigns from Hillsborough diversity council after Confederate activist appointed


    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

    Two people have resigned from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the inclusion of David McCallister, a leader of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.