Attorney sues City of Tampa over noise ordinance

Attorney Mark Bentley thinks Tampa's noise ordinance goes too far and filed a suit Wednesday against the city.
 
He calls the ordinance confusing and unconstitutional.
 
"Local government needs to be held accountable and not just go out and do these things unilaterally like they are," he said.
 
Bentley believes the city overstepped its bounds when it amended Tampa's noise ordinance last year. The ordinance prohibits "unreasonably excessive" noise on any property within the city limits, including noise that's plainly audible 100 feet away (unless it falls under one of several stated exemptions) or just 50 feet away if it's coming from a motor vehicle.
 
Bentley said the codes conflict with the noise rules already in place by the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission. He added the motor vehicle regulations violate the state's Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law and the First Amendment right of free speech.
 
Since the ordinance was enacted, he said, it has led to a lot of confusion for his clients, which include many bar owners. 
 
"There's no coordination between these different agencies and there doesn't seem to be any attempt at coordination," he said.
 
So he's asking the court to weigh in. 
 
"We're asking the court to clear up all of these contradictions and make a decision, hopefully in our favor," said Bentley. 
 
ABC Action News did reach out to city council members and the city attorney about this lawsuit, but we were told they cannot comment because it's pending litigation. 
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