Community meeting

City of El Paso holds community meeting as it considers noise ordinance change

EL PASO, Texas — For years, there has been a contentious debate among El Paso residents and business owners over the city’s noise ordinance. On Thursday, the city will raise the issue of noise levels from businesses as it considers making further changes.

The city will host a virtual meeting at 5:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams to discuss the proposed changes. You can click here for the link to the meeting.

The city made several changes to the ordinance between 2018 and 2019. The discussion was put on hold due to the pandemic after the city council wanted more data on noise readings in the city.

According to a city spokesperson, from April 22, 2021 to January 22, 2022, there were a total of 7,949 noise readings across the city. There were only 92 citations issued by police and code enforcement.

Here is a full City list of changes that could be made to the Noise Ordinance and Sound Amplification Permit Ordinance:

Proposed revisions to Title 9 (Health and Safety) include:

  • Reasonable Sensitivities Standard: Clarifying violations can occur at any time of the day if noise unreasonably disturbs or interferes with the sleep, peace, comfort, or rest of a person of reasonable sensibility
  • Location of reading: Revise the location of the property line of the property receiving the noise to the property line of the property producing the noise
  • Decibel level: Lowering from 70 dB to 65 dB
  • Vibration violations: revised requirements for properties adjacent to the affected property.
  • Penalties: The city may, under Chapter 54 of the Texas Local Government Code, bring a civil action against a person who violates any provision of that chapter. Civil action may include civil penalties of up to $1,000/day

Proposed Revisions to Division 5 (Business Licenses and Permits Regulations) to understand:

  • Revise the definition of “exterior zone” to clarify that roll-up doors, open doors and windows constitute an exterior zone
  • Lowering the decibel level from 70 dB to 65 dB
  • Extension of the location requirement from 350 feet to 500 feet from residences
  • Requirement for written notice to neighbors increased from 300 feet to 500 feet; write-in responses increased from 150 feet to 300 feet
  • Lowering of the revocation threshold from ten citations to two citations
  • Stating that the city can seek an injunction for violations under the Texas Local Government Code

If you cannot attend the virtual meeting, you can attend the public hearing at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1 during the meeting of the municipal council.