By Agrippina Fadel
The city needs better tools for dealing with the party houses, repeat noise offenders, and fireworks at 1 a.m., said Mayor Michelle Gomez at the workshop meeting on Monday.
Tamarac is not the quiet little city it used to be, she said, but residents still expect the noise levels to be tolerable. She added that the city had strengthened the noise ordinance a few years ago. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t give the code enforcement and the Broward Sheriff’s Office the ability to enforce it well.
“It is great that people want to have parties, but sometimes they have to realize that their neighbors might be sleeping. We have people that work at all different hours. How do we tell people to be mindful? If your windows are shaking, your neighbors’ windows are probably shaking too,” she added.
Gomez explained that sometimes the BSO shows up at the door after a noise complaint, and the residents turn the music down for ten minutes, only to turn it back on once they drive away.
She added that the police could not get to the noise complaints all the time, and there is not enough penalty or consequence for the homeowners for having the noise at the point where it disrupts the quality of life for other residents.
“We need 24-hour code enforcement like some other cities. This way, BSO can respond to things they need to, while code enforcement can answer the noise complaints. And if they have to go back to that house again, they have to have a way to make the person follow the ordinance,” said Gomez.
Commissioner Marlon Bolton said he has conflicting feelings about strengthening the ordinance.
“I do hear the noise complaints. Mainland 6 complains about the Hidden Trails all the time. But it has to be a compromise. It cannot be a stringent ordinance that fines people just for having parties.” He added that people have to enjoy the homes they pay such high taxes for.
Gomez explained that a stronger ordinance would not make it harder for people who want to enjoy their lives but is intended for those pushing the envelope and bothering their neighbors.
“There are quite a few noise complaints, and they are coming from the same general vicinity, and it is not just the Woodlands and Hidden Trails. The stronger ordinance will help with residents who, instead of keeping the music at a 25 decibel, keep it at 50, where people can hear it three communities away,” she said.
With the consensus from the commission members, Gomez said that Tamarac could in the future introduce a local bill, together with the neighboring cities, that addresses the fireworks.
She said the state “did not do the city any favors“ by allowing the fireworks four times a year. As a result, residents do it all the time.
“If the holiday falls on a Friday, people think they can shoot fireworks all weekend. Residents with pacemakers suffer, dogs, and just people trying to sleep. We need a stronger ordinance on fireworks,” said Gomez.
The noise ordinance discussion is slated for a future meeting.
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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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