MESQUITE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Mesquite is touting new ways the public can help address concerns of loud music or excessive noises in their neighborhoods.
The Mesquite City Council changed the city code to create new nuisance disturbance standards to help city staff respond to noise complaints which include loud music or noises which exceed what is usual, necessary, normal or are louder than permitted in the ordinance.
City Manager Cliff Keheley said, “These new standards provide us more tools to respond to noise complaints generated by loud music, parties, vehicle noise and other nuisance sounds. The first step should always be for the resident to communicate the disturbance to the property owner and ask them to address the noise concern. If there is no progress or the resident does not feel comfortable discussing it with the property owner, the next step would be to contact our staff. We also recommend having a video or audio recording and if possible, another willing witness. This will help prosecution especially in those cases where officers are not able to witness the violation.”
Keheley shared that in 2020, the Mesquite Police Department received more than 3,200 noise complaints which was an 18% increase from 2019.
He pointed out that the new ordinance focuses on residents being actively involved and not relying on city staff to respond immediately.
He said, “Noise complaints will be a lower priority call for the police department and responding quickly could be difficult at times.”
For general noise disturbances, like loud music, the public can report it to the Mesquite Police Department by using the non-emergency phone number 972-285-6336.
Animal noise disturbances can be reported to the Mesquite Animal Services at 972-216-6283.
The amended ordinance includes:
Allowing city staff to address complaints of noises that are plainly audible under certain circumstances and locations, for example at a property line or from the street, which will allow for a more common-sense approach and eliminating the need for a decibel meter or witness to enforce.
Establishing new noise zones of residential, commercial, manufacturing and entertainment properties making it more effective for the city to investigate a complaint and enforce the ordinance.
Updating the daytime and nighttime maximum permissible sound levels to correspond with other metroplex cities.
Clarifying nuisance standards language to identify noise that is in violation if it “annoys, distresses, or disturbs the quiet, comfort, or repose of a reasonable person with ordinary sensibilities.”
Including temporary exceptions for special events permitted by the City.
Allowing for noise variance processes and noise abatement studies to be ordered under specific circumstances when there is the potential for a noise disturbance or when an existing facility perpetually exceeds the maximum permissible sound levels.
Mayor Bruce Archer said, “Too often there are those in our city who simply have no thought or regard for their neighbors by noise caused by parties and music that causes homes to literally vibrate down the street. This ordinance won’t fix everything overnight, but it will give our police department more tools in their toolbox to better resolve these disturbances and give more residents hope that they don’t have to keep enduring these problems. We have to do more.”
He discussed the ordinance on KEOM’s Community Focus which can be heard online here.
Violations of the noise ordinance are a Class C Misdemeanor criminal offense and subject to a maximum of $2,000.
More specific of the ordinance and noise standards are available here.