By Agrippina Fadel
“There is no peace and no rest for us,” said the residents of the NW 66th Terrace in Tamarac, plagued by a disruptive neighbor playing “offensive” music for hours every day.
Three neighbors voiced their concerns during public comments at the commission meeting on April 13, asking the city for a better noise ordinance.
Resident Bob Valdez told the commissioners he had lived in the Sunflower neighborhood for 37 years. The problems in the usually quiet and peaceful area started when a man moved in with the neighbor at 8200 block of NW 66th Terrace in October 2020.
The home, owned by Michelle Borras, was purchased in 2011.
“The music has been blasting from the house across the street from 7.45 a.m. till about 5.30 p.m., Monday through Friday and sometimes on the weekends. The sound reaches 80 decibels in my living room, and you can hear the disgusting lyrics in my back yard,” said Valdez.
He added that the new neighbor brought in two commercial-grade speakers when he moved in. Three feet tall and two feet wide, the speakers are in his garage and pointed directly across the street toward the neighbors.
A retired FPL employee, Valdez has dealt with regulatory law and code enforcement on the state and federal levels for many years. In his opinion, the current Tamarac noise code is poorly written, vague, leaves room for broad interpretations, and cannot be enforced because BSO and code enforcement do not fully understand the document.
“It has come to my attention that certain commissioners believe that noise in the city of Tamarac is only relegated to “party houses” and that the current code, as revised in 2014, is adequate. I’m here to tell you that it’s not the case,” he added.
Valdez said both BSO and code enforcement had been called to the problem house numerous times. The man tells the officers to “get off his property,” curses at them, and says, “he knows his rights and doesn’t care if he gets cited.”
“It never ends. Once the police leaves, he dances around, yelling, then walks up and down the street banging on doors to find out who called the authorities. He feels he can get away with it because the BSO does not have a code to enforce,” said Valdez. “My neighbors feel intimidated, and they feel abandoned.”
Rozanne Valdez, Robert’s wife, said that her quiet neighborhood, where everyone respects each other and gets along, has been transformed since the new neighbor moved in.
“It is very stressful to listen to music for 8-9 hours a day. It is loud and very disturbing, with filthy lyrics,” she said, adding that her neighbor was walking with her grandson recently while a song with obscene lyrics was playing.
“By the time she got to the corner, her 4-year-old grandchild was repeating the words,” said Rozanne. She explained that the Sunflower subdivision is full of kids, many doing online school at home, neighbors who have night shifts or work from home, and retired people.
“There is no peace or rest for us. We never had any problems with the woman who owns the house, but her boyfriend has no respect for anyone,” said Rozanne Valdez. Resident Sharon Reynolds, who lived on the same street for over 40 years, said the ordeal had been a traumatic experience for all the neighbors and that “it is getting worse.”
The city officials discussed the noise ordinance at the workshops on January 11 and March 21.
At the March meeting, City Attorney John Herin shared the staff’s suggestions about existing ordinances and possible changes to the regulation and amendments to the code. He said Tamarac could implement existing laws better and introduce enhanced penalties for repeat offenders.
Herin said the maximum fine for the noise ordinance violations is currently limited to $250 for each violation. If the commission thinks it is insufficient to serve as an adequate deterrent to noise issues, it can direct the staff to correct the code.
“There is a section under the state law and our local code that allows municipalities to provide harsher penalties for irrevocable and irreversible code violations – that can be a one-time fine anywhere from $1 to $15,000,” he added.
The noise ordinance and code enforcement will come before the city commission at future meetings.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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