Missouri City City Council opted to postpone a decision on modifying the city’s noise ordinance Nov. 20 until more data is provided.

The gist

According to meeting documents, Missouri City’s proposed modifications to the noise ordinance include:
  • A maximum of 75 A-weighted decibels can be measured during daytime hours. A-weighted decibels are measured using an instrument adjusted to have sensitivity similar to the human ear, according to the European Environment Agency's website.
  • A maximum of 65 A-weighted decibels can be measured during nighttime hours.
Sound would be measured from the “property line of the property from which the sound originates,” according to meeting documents.

Changes are being proposed to the policy so that it can be enforced consistently, Mayor Pro Tem Floyd Emery said.

City Attorney E. Joyce Iyamu said she did not have a count of how many noise complaints have been filed recently, but she plans to bring that data to a future meeting.

The complaints that have been filed mostly pertain to commercial properties, she said.

The context

Examples of sounds that are close to the proposed ordinance’s 65-75 decibel range, according to the the Center for Hearing and Communication’s website, include:
  • A vacuum cleaner, at 60-85 decibels
  • Freeway traffic, at 70 decibels
  • TV audio, at 70 decibels
  • A noisy restaurant, at 85 decibels
The CHC’s list does not specify the distance from which the given ranges are measured.

What residents are saying

Lomia McGuinn—a Missouri City resident—spoke at Oct. 16 and Nov. 20 meetings, sharing her experience with noise issues. McGuinn estimated that she has made about 280 calls in the last six months about loud music coming from commercial properties near her home.

“There's no privacy, there's nothing there in place that allows us to be able to live in our home, privately, peacefully,” McGuinn said.

Israel McGuinn also spoke at the meeting, saying law enforcement took three hours to respond to his noise complaint Nov. 19.

“Why they're not implementing [the noise policy], saying anything about it, addressing our concerns, our issues ... I don't know what it is. I feel like it's honestly, it's something against us, as residents,” Israel McGuinn said.

Stay tuned

Multiple council members expressed concerns about the proposed policy, including:
  • How businesses will be affected by a noise policy
  • Making sure the exact decibels in the policy are a reasonable standard
No action was taken on the proposed noise ordinance changes Nov. 20 except to move the vote to a future meeting.