Roger Voigt said he has called law enforcement on numerous occasions to his home in Desoto Square Villas for noise complaints.
Showing a video on his cellphone with loud music coming from a neighboring property during Wednesday’s Manatee County Commission work session, Voigt told commissioners the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office can’t do anything for him — now.
“Without the ordinance, we can’t do anything about it,” he said.
To address potential constitutional issues in Manatee County’s noise ordinance and ensure legal law enforcement, the County Attorney’s Office drafted an updated noise ordinance. The commission discussed the draft Wednesday but did not direct the County Attorney’s Office to advertise the ordinance to adopt at a future meeting.
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“There are issues that we need to address so that we don’t have any major problems at other businesses,” Commission Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh said. “We need to come up with a noise ordinance that is enforceable so that the sheriff’s department can do its job. It is really something that is of the essence.”
Something needs to be done with the county noise ordinance, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Dennis Dummer said.
“We have had no means to remedy that situation,” he said. “Officers are tied up responding to these same locations because we don’t want to tell a citizen that there is nothing we can do.”
While there were no policy changes in decibel levels or time noise is permitted within the ordinance, some commissioners discussed the possibility of making policy changes.
Commissioner Larry Bustle suggested the commission look at allowing higher decibel levels until at least 11 p.m.
“I am persuaded that there is a need for us to have a provided area where young folks in particular can play and not be in danger of violating the ordinance,” he said.
A survey by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce responded to by more than 500 members showed most in favor of allowing higher decibel levels until later into the night, according to Ben Bakker, who spoke on behalf of the chamber Wednesday.
Bakker asked the commission to pay special attention to the commercial corridors Manatee County is trying to revitalize.
“Our main concern is not to have it adversely affect corridors of commerce,” he said.
The current noise ordinance is affecting the business of Motorworks Brewing so much co-owner Frank Tschida told commissioners he is “actively looking for property inside Hillsborough County.”
“This isn’t just about Motorworks,” he said. “This is about everybody.”