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Port Richey settles on sound course of action in correcting noise ordinance

Kudos to the Port Richey City Council for listening to all the ruckus about its noise ordinance. This week, the council retreated from its iron-fisted enforcement of city rules that prohibit all amplified noise at outdoor business establishments. Instead, the council agreed to a new ordinance that includes decibel level measurements to determine if sound from a speaker, television or stereo is disturbing people away from the property. Final approval is expected later this month.

It is a sensible solution to a problem that had waterfront businesses making a lot of noise on their own about unfair rules and lost customers.

Complaints about noise in the city — including music from outdoor dining and drinking establishments — have surfaced periodically. As noted previously, some is this is a result of past council actions, which allowed the spot zoning of a bar and restaurant in a largely residential neighborhood on the south side of the Pithlachascotee River.

So, in late September, enforcement of the city's noise ordinance began anew with police citing waterfront restaurants-taverns for excessive noise. According to the ordinance, excessive is any amplified noise. Issuing $65 citations for breaking a vague and overbearing standard is counterproductive to a city that wants a bustling commercial district along parts of the river.

The council is correct to promote a compromise. Banning outdoor noise might look good in an ordinance code, but it sounds terrible from a waterfront deck.

Port Richey settles on sound course of action in correcting noise ordinance 10/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 5:25pm]
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