Tampa City Council revisits noise ordinance

Ordinance in place not fixing problem

TAMPA, Fla. - It was a noise ordinance put into place July 2013, but Tampa City Council members say after six months, they aren't seeing enough progress.

"Were getting too many calls from residential communities about the noise," said Councilman Frank Reddick.

He, like other council members, said it's time to tighten the reigns on the noise ordinance. Councilman Reddick citing for the council that he has personally heard instances in certain areas of Tampa where the music coming from homes and stores is entirely too loud.

Councilman Harry Cohen agreed. He acknowledged the strides forward, but also noted the ordinance isn't completely taking care of the problem.

"While I think we have made progress with the noise coming out of the cars," said Councilman Cohen.  "I think we still have some work to do in terms of controlling the noise that's actually on the streets themselves."

The Tampa Police Department says it appears the new rules are working on their end.

"In July at the same time we were averaging 29, whereas in December, we were only averaging 16 [citations].  A 45 percent decrease," says Captain Eric Ward of Tampa Police.

That's for vehicle noise violations though. Captain Ward recognizing as public awareness of the ordinance increases, the citations have decreased and the fines escalate. First offense has a citation of $150, on the second offense it doubles and then the third offense will cost $450.

While it may be true there has been a decrease in citations issued for residences and establishments, both the police department and the city's legal department recognize the calls for service can be decreased even more.

It's just a matter of how to do it.

"We would like to come back to you with a reformatted ordinance that is simple and easy for the officers to use," said Rebecca Kert, Assistant City Attorney.

The noise ordinance doesn't apply to special events such as Gasparilla.

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