Pflugerville City Council unanimously approved amendments to its noise-control ordinance July 9, reducing the maximum decibel levels in residential areas and changing the definition of daytime hours. The city’s original noise-control ordinance was adopted in 1988 and last amended in 2006, when its maximum decibel level was set at 85.
The updated ordinance followed increased complaints from city residents regarding noise levels from various venues, according to the council. Council Member Doug Weiss said he has received feedback from residents that the newly implemented ordinance is both too restrictive and too lenient, adding that the new ordinance will run on a DBA measurement that takes into account the frequency of the sound.
“I think it’s a solid ordinance that addresses the concerns of the community and keeps the rights of the community in place,” Weiss said.
Under the amendment, the maximum noise level during the daytime was set at 70 decibels, with a nighttime limit of 65. The noise-level reduction is applicable to all residential areas, which include residential use, residential zoning and city parks.
The new ordinance has also specified daytime hours as constituting any time between 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m.to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Violation of the noise-control ordinance constitutes a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $2,000.
City Manager Sereniah Breland said Pflugerville plans to establish a permitting process through the city of Pflugerville Development Services. Breland added there will be two forms of permits created: a temporary one along with an annual permit for music venues at least 200 feet of residential areas.
The temporary noise permits would allow for city approval of certain venues that would otherwise violate the ordinance. Special permission is applicable to situations such as construction activities, special events’ sound equipment and live music venues, among others. All permits must be requested through development services a minimum of 10 days prior to the event, per a July 9 news release.
For repeated offenders, Breland said city residents would have the opportunity to file recourse through police tickets issued as well as addressing concerns with City Council through individual contact and public comment forums.