First, thank you for your patience as our office looked into the noise complaints at Sonora bar on Richmond. We hope that your neighborhood has seen some relief recently as the Governor’s new emergency order closing bars went into effect last week (please report violations to the TABC).
We know that many of you have tried every solution at your disposal, including calling the bar directly and calling the non-emergency HPD number to report the noise. Our office followed up with HPD and learned that while they have responded to your calls several times regarding the noise violations, no citations have been issued to the business yet. We want to make sure you all are aware that HPD is able to issue a citation (up to $1,000 for the first offense) but only if the individual reporting the sound violation agrees to include their information (name and address) on the citation.
I fully recognize that many of you wish to remain anonymous and are concerned about potential blowback from the business owner. I also understand that there are many businesses who continue violating the sound ordinance even after being cited and simply pay the citations. These are barriers we will continue to investigate, but this is the current process and solution available through the sound ordinance, and I want to make sure you are all clear on the process and what it takes to issue a citation.
I know that you all recognize that HPD’s resources are extremely limited right now, and it is especially difficult for them to respond to noise calls in a timely manner given that many of the noise complaints occur during the times when they are already experiencing the heaviest volume of calls for higher-priority incidents (assaults, robberies, burglaries, and DWIs). Once again, this is the enforcement mechanism we currently have under the existing sound ordinance, and our office is investigating any other enforcement that might be possible, that doesn’t further strain HPD.
I ask for your patience as the District C office continues to investigate what we can do to address the issue. I know it is causing extreme stress for you and your neighbors, and I am so sorry for that, especially on top of the stress/anxiety caused by COVID. Thank you for reaching out and we hope to provide another update within two weeks.
Please feel free to reach out to our office if there is anything else we can assist you with.
Chief of Staff