St. Petersburg FlPublic Opinion by author: Robert Neff
A resident or individual in a car or on a motorcycle in the City is more likely to be issued a citation than a bar, restaurant or cafe.
Trophy Fished opened in May 2018. There was a noise complaint made to the police every month but October, but no citations for noise were issued.
- 8 Noise complaints but Police Records only show 3. The remaining five are for the intersection, where Trophy Fish is named, except one. If you searched the Police call logs or Police CAD Reporting system for noise calls at the address, there would only be three confirmed noise calls.
- Six (6) calls are in violation of the Noise Ordinance time requirement. Yet, Police issued no citations.
- Data proves police lack proper documentation of the source, thus, noise calls are underreported.
- Police reported the speakers were seen to be pointing out. Was this reported to Codes? Didn’t the City require a noise plan for establishment before the Trophy Fish opened?
The Getaway in Maximo Marina was required to submit a noise plan. For past couple months, there has been outdoor music. The music can be heard on the adjacent property at the Moorings of Maximo Condominium. I have heard the music in my residence.
The calls highlight an issue the police have managing repeat calls. There is no management. The Police are not tracking the repeat calls. Residents give up calling the police.
The new noise ordinance requires warnings and penalties for repeat calls. How are the police going to manage this when they currently do not. In the City presentations to Public Services & Infrastructure, there was no discussion on this. The City Council needs to address this before voting on the new noise ordinance revision.
The calls identify another issue. The police do not properly identify the the source and address, thus repeat calls are under counted. Initial search for "2-6- Central Av" revealed three calls when there were more calls. If police do not properly manage the source address, how are repeat calls to be identified?
However, we know the Police and City are not enforcing the noise ordinance when Police make multiple requests to the location asking them to turn down the noise.
How do we know?
The noise ordinance is discretionary and the Mayor and Police are not required to enforce it. See Mayor Kriseman's email to Police Chief Holloway.
We also know City Council Member Kornell worked with the Community Service Officer Kelly, and Flamingo Resort Owner Jack Dougherty, who is Board President for the Skyway Marina District, to develop a strategy to deal with me when I emailed Mayor Kriseman about the noise.
Penalties are addressed in the revised noise ordinance, reference City's LDR 2019-02 Draft Ordinance, Section 11-50. — Penalty.
The first violation of any provision of this division shall result in a written warning. The second violation of any provision of this division within 365 days after a written warning is issued is punishable by a fine in the amount of $500.00. Subsequent violations of this division issued within a one year of another a violation resulting in a $500.00 fine, which has been disposed of in any way other than a dismissal or finding of not guilty by a court, shall be punishable by a fine of $500.00. For any additional violation of this division within 365 days of two violations which resulted in a fine of $500.00 as prescribed herein, and which have been disposed of in any way other than a dismissal or finding of not guilty by a court, the City may impose a thirty (30) day suspension of a City issued extended hours permit for establishments serving alcoholic beverages or a sidewalk café permit, or both. Concurrent with or independent of any sidewalk café or extended hours permit suspension imposed by the City following two violations which resulted in a fine of $500.00 fine within 365 days, the City may also require preparation of a noise mitigation and monitoring plan in accordance with Section 16.50.310.3 within 90 days of the violation.
Penalties bring up another issue — the audio of the resident who called. This is evidence the police could use or the resident or bar could use to fight the penalty, but it is deleted after 90 days.
Data, comments, images and Call For Service Reports are Public Record.
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