However, Haute Spot owner Jeff Haynes said he wants his business to be a good neighbor and continues to install features to reduce sound outside the venue.
On Nov. 9-10, Haute Spot—an outdoor, live music venue at 1501 E. New Hope Drive in Cedar Park—hosted Haute Mess, a music festival that drew national hip-hop artists such as Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and Cypress Hill.
According to city documents, Cedar Park’s noise ordinance caps sound at 85 decibels from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. and then 70 decibels at night. At the Oct. 24 City Council meeting, Haynes was granted a special exception permit by the city to extend the daytime noise limit by one hour, to 11 p.m., on both days.
During the event, residents complained to the CPPD, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and on social media about loud music coming from the venue. At the Nov. 14 Cedar Park City Council meeting, two homeowners living outside the city limits complained during citizen comments about the Haute Mess sound levels.
The venue, on the northeast corner of New Hope Drive and Toll 183A, lies just inside Cedar Park’s northern city limits and north of Town Center.
CPPD monitored the sound levels “at different times throughout the event,” police spokesperson Alicia Inns said. CPPD received 35 calls about the sound level at Haute Mess, but some of the complaints may have been “repeat callers,” according to Inns.
CPPD issued one citation Nov. 9 for exceeding the sound limit, Inns said. The fine was $125.
Immediately to the north of Haute Spot lie extraterritorial jurisdictions, which fall under Williamson County, not Cedar Park, law enforcement and have no local noise ordinances, according to Patricia Gutierrez, Williamson County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson.
“We do not have a noise ordinance,” Gutierrez said in an email. “We go off state law DOC [disorderly conduct] noise [laws].”
According to Texas State Law Title 9, Ch. 42, disorderly conduct covers a variety of nuisances. When it comes to noise, the code broadly defines disorderly conduct as “unreasonable noise in a public place other than a sport shooting range ... or near a private residence that [the individual or entity] has no right to occupy.”
Haute past and future
According to Community Impact Newspaper reports, Haute Spot opened April 8 at 1501 E. New Hope Drive, which had been previously called BC’s Backyard Bar & Grill. BC’s closed October 2018 after being open less than three months. Before BC’s, Lone Star Grille & Amphitheater occupied the space before closing in December 2017.
Haynes feels that some neighbors may be criticizing Haute Spot for the sound violations of previous tenants. Haynes, who said he, unlike previous tenants, owns the venue, said he wants to work with the neighbors.
“Past tenants and owners haven’t always been open to conversation, resulting in bitter feelings and a marred reputation for the venue,” Haynes wrote in an email to Community Impact Newspaper. “We are actively working to change those perceptions through ongoing community outreach.”
At Cedar Park City Council’s Oct. 24 meeting, when council voted 6-1 to grant a special noise exemption to Haute Spot to extend the decibel limit by an hour, Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale said he appreciated Haynes for his willingness to work with the city.
“We’ve been to the venue. I love it. It’s totally different than what it’s been in the past,” Van Arsdale said. “Jeff has been way different than the [previous business owner]. ... I like that Jeff has spent a bunch of money trying to mitigate sound.”
Haynes said in an email he plans to make Haute Spot a better experience for customers and neighbors by “bolstering our sound technology, being mindful with placement of sound-buffering inclusions, and better centering our stage to ensure we keep sound within the venue. ... [W]e are also committed to being good neighbors.”
Haynes said the Haute Mess Concert Series will return in August.