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. Related Group breaks ground for complex on old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Miami-based Related Group has broken ground on a 400-unit apartment complex planned on the site of the former Tampa Tribune building in downtown Tampa.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  2. Robert Pattinson is better than 'Twilight.' 'Good Time' proves it




    Don't judge actors by the books they cover on screen. It appears truer with each performance that two of our finest got their starts with the Twilight franchise.

    Robert Pattinson hooks viewers in Good Time, an inventive crime story.
  3. Deputies: Man feared other man was going to "steal his girlfriend" before armed assault



    Deputies: Rifle pulled in fight over girlfriend

  4. Largo police investigating U.S. 19 crash that killed woman, 34


    LARGO — Traffic homicide investigators are looking into a crash Wednesday morning that killed a woman and closed the southbound lanes of U.S. 19 for a few hours.

  5. Harvey regenerates into tropical depression, sets aim on Texas coastline


    The system moving toward Texas has regenerated into Tropical Depression Harvey, prompting storm surge and hurricane watches on portions of the Lone Star State's coast, according to the National Hurricane …

    [National Hurricane Center]