EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Two years after implementing changes to the city’s ordinance, the El Paso City Council will once again consider added changes to the law regulating sound levels at businesses and residences.

The council’s interest in adding changes to the noise ordinance as the number of violations grew in 2021, a time when most social gathering establishments opened after being shut during the COVID-19 pandemic.

El Paso data show 121 violations were recorded in 21, a stark contrast the 22 issued the year before and the 11 from 2019. Initial data shows most noise complaints and violations came from established party areas near the University of Texas at El Paso.

In 2019, the city council adopted changes to the noise ordinance after city staff researched and collected public opinion for years on how to regulate sound levels in growing entertainment areas throughout the city.

The ordinance capped noise levels to 70 decibels at a business’ property line and banned amplified sound from speakers on business patios past midnight. The ordinance also required businesses to obtain permits before having any amplified sound in outdoor settings.

When applying for sound permits, businesses would have to notify residences living 350 feet from their property lines.

But now the city council is looking to tighten those regulations.

The council is proposing capping noise levels at 65 decibels from a business’ property line and requiring businesses to notify residents about permits within 500 feet of their property.

Also, the city is looking to qualify outdoor areas to include roll-up style doors, open doors and windows.

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