Demand for action on San Antonio noise ordinance could impact entertainment venues

Neighbors say the noise level at nearby bars and businesses have forced them to voice concerns

San Antonio – John Brennaman couldn’t enjoy his peace and quiet North Side home anymore, it’s one of the reasons he moved out. He lives near the Broadway corridor near Loop 410 where problems with one particular bar forced several of his neighbors to push for action on the city’s noise ordinance.

“It’s always just a few. They don’t cooperate. And that’s that’s the one we’re trying to pin down,” he said. He’s part of a recently formed Noise Ordinance Task Force formed by the City of San Antonio.

Mike Shannon, Development Services Director for COSA, says the city gets about 30,000 calls each year to the SAPD non-emergency line about noise complaints. The task force will take a look at what, if any, changes need to be made to the current ordinance to enhance it and give it more teeth.

“People really want to see if we do have a chronic or habitual bad actor or someone that really creates excessive noise a lot of the times. How can the noise ordinance maybe have a little bit more teeth to work with those and not really hurt those that are doing it the right way?,” Shannon explains. “We certainly don’t want to shut down any businesses. We don’t want to create a bunch of unnecessary citations for a first time, you know, birthday party in the evening, that got a little a little exciting. So we’re working through all those details.”

Shannon says in the upcoming budget proposal, there’s a pilot program that would have some code enforcement officers go along with police starting in October for three months to take a closer look at the noise complaint problems.

The proposal would need to be approved by the entire city council.

“I think that pilot program, what we’ll be able to learn some things as to what works, what doesn’t work, to be a little more effective,” he says.

David Nelson, Music Director for Beethoven Männerchor, says after 100 years in the Southtown location, a few neighbors recently started complaining about the music level.

“We were founded as a music society. So, you know, music is our lifeblood here,” he said.

He wants the city to consider looking at how it enforces the current noise ordinance before they go about making changes that could impact entertainment and music businesses.

The city is hosting the last of 3 public hearing meetings virtually on September 2nd at 6 p.m.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.