Collaboration in Sci. and Technol., Inc., 15835 Park Ten Pl., Ste. 105, Houston, TX 77084-5131
Councilwoman, District A, City of Houston, P.O. Box 1562, Houston, TX 77251
In January of 1993, the City of Houston adopted a new sound regulation ordinance. Previous ordinances did not specify allowable sound levels, only that it was unlawful to make loud or excessive noises. The city health department had used values of 75 dBA (daytime) and 65 dBA (nighttime) to determine if noises were excessive. The new ordinance established allowable A-weighted sound levels of 65 dBA (daytime) and 58 dBA (nighttime) on residential property and 68 dBA (day or nighttime) on nonresidential property. Enforcement under this ordinance is now shared between the city health and police departments. Because there is no zoning in the City of Houston, this ordinance poses some unique challenges; manufacturing facilities, bars, and nightclubs are often located in residential areas. The motivation for this new ordinance and recent experiences with its enforcement will be discussed.