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Delray Beach looks to lower volume after noise complaints

Meters will measure sound at various locations in city
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 26, 2022

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Delray Beach is taking steps to revisit its noise ordinance.

The city can be a fun place for locals and tourists, especially at night. But the city said they have received many complaints from its surrounding residents about the noise.

"When you're in the downtown area, the noise just accumulates, and it's hard to kind of tell where it's coming from," Delray Beach City Attorney Lynn Gelin said.

Downtown Delray Beach
Downtown Delray Beach is full of businesses and restaurants that can create a substantial amount of noise.

The current noise ordinance states if it reaches 100 feet away from where it's emanating, then that establishment is in violation.

Gelin said ultimately police officers will use a decibel reader to measure noise from a bar or restaurant.

"By using the decibel readers, the officers will have the ability to point the meter at the specific business and that will tell what the levels noise is versus having to rely on their own discretion to kind of figure it out," Gelin said.

An acoustics consultant from Brooks Acoustics Corporation in Pompano Beach will come in for the next couple of months, setting up meters to objectively measure the sound at various locations.

Delray Beach City Attorney Lynn Gelin, Jan. 26, 2022
Delray Beach City Attorney Lynn Gelin explains how the upcoming noise study will be performed.

"Basically, he's going to walk the area, talk to people, engage with businesses, engage with residents and to determine what the baseline level of noise should be," Gelin said.

The consultant will then draft recommendations for the city.

"By utilizing a tool, as opposed to exercising your own discretion, it makes the process more fair, and it makes it easier for businesses to even know what the expectations are," Gelin said.

Once the recommendations are presented to the city commission in a few months, there will be a workshop plus two public hearings before a final decision.