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Tampa residents say bass needs to be accounted for in new noise ordinances

It's not the volume that was the main concern at Monday's public input meeting. It was the bass that often accompanies with late night music.

TAMPA, Fla — The city of Tampa is hosting a series of public input meetings over noise ordinances in the city. There has been a lot of back and forth over the policy, and this time, city leaders are trying to get it right. 

The ordinances were changed, then repealed, and now, the city is starting from square one. 

From the residents that shared their concerns, many comments focused on the bass as opposed to the volume.

"You may not necessarily hear the decibel level or the noise," Rick Kugler Ziglar, an east Tampa resident, said. "But you will be shaken awake at night because of the subwoofers."

The ordinance currently in place has specific requirements for Historic Ybor and the Arena District. Noise must be below a certain decibel between specific times. Residents say measuring the volume by decibel doesn't account for the bass and vibrations the music creates. 

For the rest of Tampa, noise cannot be unreasonably excessive. It is left to law enforcement to determine if the noise meets that description. A five-minute warning is given. If compliance is not met, a citation is issued. 

For those working in entertainment districts, a change in policy could come at a cost. Brian Nezbit shared his concerns saying he lives and works in an entertainment district. 

"When you add in all these districts, you have thousands of employees," Nezbit said. "Tax-paying citizens that you're talking about messing with their livelihood."

The Tampa Police Department had a representative at the public input meeting. TPD said their concern is consistency. When different areas of Tampa have different policies, it is harder for his officers to enforce them. 

There is one more public input meeting at 6 p.m. on July 6 at Ragan Park.

City staff will compile information from the meetings and present a proposal to city council in October.

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