After taking somewhat of a pause in the process, the city of Tallahassee is about to take steps toward creating a new noise ordinance. The issue is scheduled to be discussed at City Hall later this month.
Several times this year, Tallahassee police have responded to noise complaints in the urban midtown neighborhood of Levy Park.
Neighborhood resident Erin VanSickle says, “They expressed frustration that the city did not have and does not have a noise ordinance."
She says a weekly block party and cars’ blasting music at an apartment complex next to her house have lowered her family’s quality of life.
“Most evenings, I cannot go outside on my patio and sit with the dogs or grill steaks or really just be in my backyard at all," she says. "And that’s part of what I bought that house for.”
Up to two years ago, the city used the state’s disorderly conduct law to fight breaches of the peace. But after a judge ruled that law didn’t apply to noise alone, city officials began trying to craft their own ordinance. Public workshops and an online survey of residents were conducted and a draft ordinance was released last summer.
But halfway through 2014, Tallahassee Police still can’t issue a citation for a noisy incident. Assistant City Attorney Cassandra Jackson says that could change soon.
“It will appear on the June 30th meeting of the Long Range Target Issue Committee," she says.
Jackson says that committee has proposed convening a task force to look over the public feedback that’s been collected. The group would include representatives from neighborhood associations, businesses and universities. And Jackson says recently appointed Police Chief Michael DeLeo has been observing and evaluating the situation to give his feedback too.
The Target Issue Committee plans to discuss creating the noise-ordinance task force Monday, June 30 at 1:30 p.m. in City Hall’s Tallahassee Room.