Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa residents ask City Council for help with noise problems

TAMPA — Clay Daniels sleeps with earplugs.

Kelly Bailey can feel her V.M. Ybor house shake. And she's worried about the children forced to hear vulgar lyrics.

A group of Tampa residents fed up with booming stereos wants the Tampa City Council to take bold steps to battle nuisance noise. And they don't want to wait for the Florida Legislature.

"We can't wait," said Daniels, who for years has pleaded for change.

Tampa currently bans noise above a certain decibel threshold, but authorities find it hard to enforce the ordinance because decibel readers are expensive, and Tampa police have only a few.

At a City Council workshop Thursday, council members talked about changing Tampa's ordinance from a decibel threshold to one that bans noise that is "plainly audible" at a certain distance.

One hundred feet seems reasonable, assistant city attorney Rebecca Kert told the council members.

Council member Frank Reddick suggested 50 feet.

Noise is not a new topic for council members. But their discussions had been sidelined for nearly two years while a controversial case wound its way to the Florida Supreme Court.

A St. Petersburg lawyer had fought a ticket he received in 2007 for blasting Justin Timberlake. He said the state's law was vague and unconstitutional.

In December, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the law is indeed unconstitutional because it makes exemptions for certain types of speech, such as political speech.

The Florida Legislature is working to remedy that.

Companion bills that would remove the exemptions have been making their way through committees in the House and Senate.

Until it passes, Tampa authorities' hands are tied when it comes to loud car stereos.

However, they have some authority when it comes to stationary noise, such as a stereo in a neighbor's yard.

Tampa officials are heartened by the fact the Supreme Court had no problem with the standard "plainly audible," so adopting that language in Tampa should be no problem.

The City Council is scheduled to discuss the noise ordinance again April 18.

Tampa residents ask City Council for help with noise problems 03/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pepin daughters to take on Mount Kilimanjaro

    Human Interest

    About seven years ago, Tom Pepin and his four daughters stood at 12,000 feet, overlooking the Colorado Rockies during an outward bound survival training mission.

    From left, Christina Pepin, Lauren Pepin (Tom’s Wife), Cassie Pepin, Allie Pepin, Bella Pepin and Tom Pepin take a break during an outward bound survival training mission in Colorado.
  2. Music, memories, friendships lend energy to 'Senior Prom'


    RIVERVIEW — Mesmerizing music mixed with the mingling of friends to energize and engage a congregation of old souls Thursday (June 22).

    Louise Goff of Brandon does line dances during the annual Senior Prom hosted by Hillsborough County Aging Services at the Regent in Brandon.
  3. Tampa's two 'Olivias' maintain friendship as they vie for Miss Florida


    TAMPA — Olivia Butler, referring to a Biblical passage, assesses her burgeoning friendship with Olivia Fiss as "iron sharpening iron."

    Olivia Butler, left, and Olivia Fiss are two friends who are competing together in the Miss Florida pageant as Miss Tampa and Miss St. Petersburg.
  4. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times