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Is downtown St. Pete too loud? City leaders hold public hearing on noise ordinance

Posted at 11:42 AM, Mar 06, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Changes could be coming to downtown St. Pete that will impact nightlife and live music in the growing city's bar and restaurant scene.

Wednesday, city leaders hosted a public hearing on new noise ordinance changes. The development review commission will vote on the changes April 18th. From there, it will move onto the full city council on May 2nd with a final vote scheduled for May 26.

Here's how St. Pete's noise ordinance could change:

  • New businesses that are open late at night will be required to give the city a noise mitigation strategy before they open.
  • Fines and penalties for breaking the noise ordinance could also go up. The current fine is $350 and $500 for the second offense. The new fine jumps up to $500 for a 1st offense (after one warning) and a business can have their extended hours permit suspended for 30 days after their 3rd violation. (Any businesses that sell alcohol after midnight in St Pete has an extended hours permit.)
  • Businesses will also have to keep doors shut if they are playing loud music inside and if a bar is playing music outside on a patio area, they will have to angle the speakers 45 degrees down.

In 2018, dozens of bars, restaurants and patrons started a petition to “keep St. Pete’s vibe alive.”

St. Pete leaders say over the course of six years, they received more than 18,500 complaints about noise in the downtown area.

2,517 of those calls were in 2018 alone.