Advertisement
  1. News

New Port Richey aims to give police better rules to deal with noise complaints

Back in 2010, management at Rum River has purchased Radio Shack sound level meters to check their own noise levels to avoid problems with the noise ordinance. [BRENDAN FITTERER | 2010]
Published Nov. 2, 2016

NEW PORT RICHEY — The New Port Richey City Council has taken the first step toward replacing a noise ordinance that police say is unenforceable.

During its meeting Tuesday night, the council unanimously passed on first reading a new ordinance that would set maximum decibel levels during certain times of the day. A second reading is scheduled for Nov. 15.

The city sought a change because police continue to field numerous noise complaints in both residential and commercial areas of the city, particularly regarding downtown bars and restaurants, police Chief Kim Bogart told the council. Officers, however, continually run into problems because the city's current noise ordinance does not provide an objective way for police to measure decibel levels, Bogart said. The ordinance leaves it up to a particular officer to decide what is too loud, a subjective decision that courts frown upon. It has left the Police Department's hands tied.

"Right now I have no tools to deal with this problem," Bogart said.

The new ordinance would provide police and city code enforcement with a decibel range to work with in both residential and commercial areas. A violation would occur at the following levels:

• Residential: From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 55 decibels; from 10:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m., 50 decibels.

• Non-residential: From 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., 70 decibels; from 11:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m., 55 decibels.

As a comparison, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists typical sound levels for a conversation 3 feet away at 60 decibels, classroom chatter at 70 decibels and a nightclub with music at 110 decibels.

Under the new ordinance, police could take sound measurements from any property adjacent to another property that has been identified by a complainant.

The council favored the ordinance, but called on the city staff to inform local businesses of the ordinance before the next hearing, and also to inform the public about it prior to enforcement.

"I don't want to get the, 'Oh, I didn't know,' comment," Deputy Mayor Bill Phillips said.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. The Bucs are on a 3-0 winning streak after defeating the Colts at home.
  2. AP file photo of then Gov. and now U.S. Sen. Rick Scott
    DeSantis, Rick Scott and other Republicans have taken a strong stance on Saudi Arabia in recent days. President Donald Trump?
  3. A pair of bottlenose dolphins surface off the coast off Savannah, Ga., as viewed from a vessel heading to Gray's Reef on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) ROBERT F. BUKATY  |  AP
    The dolphin was stuck in a lobster trap line. The crew’s actions likely saved the dolphin’s life.
  4. Charlie explains to his parents and sister, Beth, that the best thing about church is that there are no Herdmans there. Pictured, from left: Sarah Krug as Mother (Grace Bradley), Amber Marino as Beth, Frank Miller as Father (Bob Bradley) and Jude Mys as Charlie. Kristina Mitten
    Live Oak Theatre presents ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever'
  5. An undated photo of an inmate pod at the Falkenburg Road Jail in Hillsborough County. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office] Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    Marcus Anderson, 33, collapsed Dec. 1 at the Falkenburg Road Jail. He died six days later.
  6. FILE- In this Jan. 29, 2016 file photo shows the entrance to the Naval Air Base Station in Pensacola, Fla. The US Navy is confirming that an active shooter and one other person are dead after gunfire at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Area hospital representatives tell The Associated Press that at least 11 people were hospitalized. The base remains locked down amid a huge law enforcement response. (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson, File) MELISSA NELSON  |  AP
    The Navy on Saturday identified the three victims and hailed them as heroes for trying to stop the shooter and flagging down first responders after being shot.
  7. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    The intersection near the accident is a difficult one to safely navigate.
  8. Ann Corzo and her son Kristopher. .
    Parents share stories about Baker Act experiences and how they affected their families.
  9. Michael Higgins, DO Vince Vanni
    News and notes on local businesses
  10. Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point Star Award Volunteers, from left: Rev. Fred Houck, Barbara Weber and Steve Johnson. Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point
    News and notes on Pasco County businesses
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement