Proposed Lubbock Sound Ordinance Is Bad for Music and Bad for Business
A sound ordinance is sneakily making it way through Lubbock City Hall with the first reading this evening. Some concerned business owners will be speaking their mind, and I wanted to make you aware of what is going on.
First off, I want to say much of this ordinance is reasonable, but a lot of it is not. Second, I'm told all of this is the really directed at the Lone Star Amphitheater. Sadly, it would affect small local neighborhood businesses even more than the Amp.
The restrictions, if I read them correctly, would limit the allowed decibel level to 70db on weeknights and 85 on weekends.
So, how loud is that? Let's take the middle, which is 75db. That is described as being barely louder than a speaking voice and about the same as a dial tone.
Now, the big question is WHERE is that measured? It's measured at the edge of a property line. This means if there is a speaker on a patio, whether it's your house or a local business, it can't be louder than a person's voice at the edge of that patio.
Does that seem reasonable to you? It sure as heck doesn't to me. The Lone Star Amphitheater is a huge property and they've already made huge efforts in keeping it down. I work in the back, and we used to be able to hear the concerts clear as day. Now what we hear is barely a whisper.
What we have here is a local business trying to work with the neighborhood, current laws working, and legislation unnecessarily proceeding.
Just think about your favorite Depot District patio or the last time you had some friends over for a little music around the fire pit. Those things would be GONE after 9 or 10 p.m. That's really sad that we can't behave like grown-ups and the City of Lubbock wants us to all be tucked in after the street lights come on.
I think this ordinance needs to be pulled for further review. It's ridiculous, it will cost local business owners headaches, and it was allowed to fly under the radar without most of the public even knowing about it. Heck, even I may not be 100% on target here, because I was forced to read a camera shot copy of it. Still, for a town that wants to be about music, it sure is doing everything it can to shut it down.