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Too loud in Tampa? City council readies for vote on new noise ordinance

Council members will discuss and could vote on changes to the ordinance that will have citywide implications.

TAMPA, Fla. — UPDATE: Tampa city council members Thursday voted to pass revisions to its noise ordinance. The changes to how noise is regulated and controlled in the city won't take effect for six months.

In the meantime, staff will go back to the community and local businesses to gather feedback that will guide potential recommended amendments to the ordinance during an April workshop.

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Change could be coming to the City of Tampa's noise ordinance.

On Thursday, Tampa City Council will discuss and could vote on revisions to the noise ordinance that would make a number of changes to how noise is regulated and controlled in the city.

For Tampa's Ybor Historic District and Arena District, the ordinance sets decibel levels during certain hours of the day.

It also takes away warnings and allows code enforcement or police officers to cite clubs and businesses in those districts on the spot.

For the Channel district and its busy businesses – plus the rest of those who live in the city – police and code enforcement do not have to use a noise measuring device.

If they get a complaint and decide the noise from inside or outside your property is unreasonably loud, you could get cited.

Additionally, for the entire city, all outdoor amplified sound has to be limited after midnight.

Carole Post is the administrator for Development and Economic Opportunity for the City of Tampa. She worked with city council, those who live in Tampa and businesses to revise the noise ordinance.

She says the process took about two years and was needed as the city and its entertainment districts have grown and changed. She says the current ordinance was outdated and believes the proposed revisions allow for consistency for all.

“The whole notion of this is to make this predictable to the homeowners, the businesses and those that enforce the rules. So, we believe that what's been proposed does create that greater level of objectivity for the police to be able to be more effective in enforcement,” she said.

City representatives say, for all of 2021, they received 548 messages sent to the online noise complaint service. They say TPD received 12,000 calls for music complaints between January 2019 and October of 2020.

You can let Tampa council know your thoughts during their meeting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 13 in Council Chambers in City Hall.

If you need to file a noise complaint you can do that here.

Editor's Note: The city has revised the number of complaints it received in 2021, saying it was actually higher than previously stated. This story has been updated to reflect the higher number.