Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Resident addresses noise guidelines for business

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, May 12, 2019

I love San Marcos’ thoughtful residential noise ordinance. Like many cities across the country, if music can be heard or felt from the property line or thirty feet from the vehicle, it may be creating a nuisance. It reminds noisemakers that not everyone wants to listen to their music, but it doesn’t crack down like some fascist state by automatically fining minor violations.

However, why is there a double-standard for businesses, which only have to be below the outdated 85 decibel standard (measured without proper equipment)? Businesses and event venues often create noise pollution for nearby homes and other businesses without getting near 85 decibels. Even if their noise is of greater magnitude or duration than residential violators, there is no consequence.

For example, before Valentine’s Day this year, Wal-Mart had some celebration for online grocery shopping. The DJs were set up inside the store next to the pharmacy. I could feel the low frequency vibrations from the bass more than halfway through the parking lot. I could hear the music well over 50 feet from the entrance doors.

In another example, the “family friendly” Disney store in Tanger Outlets has the music and bass set so loudly it is clearly audible and felt in the parking lot and in the stores next door. While customers are short-term, employees are stuck there for entire shifts. The walls vibrate and the music itself is often loud enough to be heard.

Finally, the Wheels Up event at the airport last weekend pushed out noise beyond extreme. I live 1.4 miles from the airport entrance. I can’t imagine living on Highway 21. For three days, I could hear the music inside my house and during concert times, my walls vibrated.

Why do residents have reasonable guidelines, but businesses can do anything?

Marie Coffey

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666