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Noise meter and rules


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Does anyone know the specific rules with regard to noise volume in residential neighborhoods? End time, volume etc... and would you know where I can borrow a meter which measures the noise.


We haven't had any problem for 3 years with #4 restaurant. The new owners seem to have taken the music to a new level. It is getting louder and we have seen a specific trend to nightclubish music on the weekends beginning about 9:30.




Tonight for instance the type of music is delightful, and I usually like this band, but the bass is vibrating items sitting on credenzas and tabletops and is just about 3 notches on the volume dial too loud. Of course it doesn't help that there are not as many bodies inside absorbing the sound. ugh.


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Just a thought, which has worked for me: talk politely to the offenders, in daytime. If one does not complain, offenders suppose that everything is okay and that you are thrilled with the free music. Let them know that their noise level is not okay. This is just step one, but it is sometimes effective. If you do not complain, they will think that all is okay, and that their neighbors enjoy the music. Well, hey, they are stupid to suppose this level of sound is okay, but you have to deal with their ignorance, and doing so in a polite way is step one. Step Two may be implied in your conversation, as in "We did not want to call the police, but..."

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I have a noise meter. You measure using the A weighted scale. You measure from the street immediately in front. If it is that loud in your house, it is almost certainly in violation. The noise standards were posted here some time back, you can probably find them with no problem using the search function.

However, very likely you won't get any enforcement out of Chapala. The guy who it looked like might actually crack down on these nuisance clubs lasted two weeks there before he quit, citing corruption and cronyism.

We've put up with this from across the street for years. Good luck. These clubs in the middle of people's homes need to be dealt with. They have been in GDL, there was quite a crackdown there after the new laws were passed.

Not here.

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Jay Bear II of course that is the first thing to do. I am not a child. Did you read that I have lived here without complaint for 3 years and that things at the restaurant seem to be changing. I am of course intimately familiar with the sets and volume of each of the bands which play there. Since it hasn't been a problem and only seems to be a developing problem I want to get the rules down in my own head and use a volume meter to establish a base line. It seems that Mainecoons has one.

I will be borrowing that meter and will give you a call or email. Thanks,

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The real question is, how loud are these folks, you know how many dB? I can imagine you thinking, what is this guy saying, who knows how loud a dB is? I don't, but I downloaded a noise measuring App for my old iPhone 4 that measures the dB levels and I got it for free from the Apple App store.

Now should I want to quantify how loud a party is, I can do it using an "App" on my iPhone. How accurate is my iPhone? I don't know. But I remember reading a post several years ago on this forum that detailed how loud or how many dBs is/are allowed at different times and conditions in and around your house lakeside.

One of the posts in that conversation explained what to do when the noise limitations for your neighborhood are exceeded. Good luck.

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Chapala has the meters and inspectors trained to use them and empowered to shut down activities exceeding federal limits.

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Geeze....I use to give tours and I would always mention ..DO NOT MOVE TO MEXICO IF YOU WANT SILANCE and quite. Pick another country. Do not make this area like where you came from. I live in a very rural area of Jocotepec. I like this are for it's solitude, and quite. It can be done....but not if you don't want to learn basic Spanish.

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Vetteforron, did you read the OP? The poster is not saying she wants solitude and silence. She has coexisted peacefully with the music across the street until recently. If the restaurant owners are violating Mexico's noise law (enacted for the Mexican people)then they should be told to lower the volume.

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Guest bennie2

there are commericial venues on residential streets. music seems to violate this even more. guess there are no zoning laws here. what a a tacky place w/these ugly plastic posters. (ruining the nice buiding)

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From my past experience living in the area, noise laws DO exist however; enforcement is another issue. I feel for anyone who lives near the noisemakers because I truly believe there is NO answer except to move to a rural quiet area. As they say on TV, Love it or List it. That's what we had to do.

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A quiet rural area?? When we fought a noise maker who put a block factory right at the back of a residence and the man and the factory had to move he moved to a quiet rural area..anything can happen anywhere.

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Here is a former post on the topic, detailing the regs:

http://www.chapala.com/webboard/index.php?showtopic=49808&hl=noise

The measurement is taken at the property line which equals the curb here. Note the residential standards, which apply to Sola's nuisance bar as well as our own. I'm very familiar with sound measurement and I own my own meter and I can guarantee you that neither of these places comes close to the residential standard.

Now Harry, I'm glad to hear that Chapala allegedly has noise meters and people who know how to use them? Exactly how does one go about getting same actually to come out and measure and do enforcement, for example, at 8PM on Tuesday night?

Will these be the same guys that Mr. Huerta swore up and down were going to get rid of those barriers over a public road in La Floresta?

I hope you will pardon my skepticism about any real "enforcement" about anything coming out of the Chapala government under the current administration given that I look across the street where my view of the mountains on the south side used to be and instead am graced with a view of an illegal third floor apartment that was supposed to be a mirador.

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The noise problem we have in our Guadalajara neighborhood is barking dogs,lots of them,I wonder what the decible level for a pack of barking dogs is.

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I know the sound enforcement "weapon" they mostly use in Puerto Vallarta is the evento license. Eventos like wedding receptions, birthday parties, quincerias are very lucrative for restaurants and night clubs. If there is a lot of general noise complaints or an evento gets out of control then the next time their evento permit is denied. The trouble is in Ajijic I don't think restaurants like #4 get much business by way of eventos.

Reading from the Guadalajara Reporter, the man they hired to enforce reglamentos for Chapala was a well liked politician who was not afraid to express his points of view. Who knows the real reason he only lasted two months - he says it was the tianqui vendors who were in complete opposition for plans to improve things AND stay within the laws. Who knows - it may have been a simple power politics thing, where he saw himself gathering more enemies and opposition than friends and allies.

I get the impression that behind the scenes politics plays a much greater role than mordida in this country - or possibly the two are closely connected.

The enforcement of noise pollution laws in Mexico has shown successful results - this is actually a health issue more than a cultural preference. Noise makes people and wildlife sick - not even a debate anymore.

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Mainecoons, I share your skepticism about anything being done under the current administration. It has repeatedly shown that there will be smiles, nods, handshakes and promises -- and then nothing. Another time, another administration and maybe there will be a chance but I will not be holding my breath for that either.

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there is no law here to have mufflers on cars/trucks. lets see if that could be enforced. they could give out tickets for that. good incentive.

Mufflers don't sit across the street and make an unending racking of bad gringo music for 2-3 hours. Not relevant to this discussion.

There's a very good reason that Mexicans wrote and passed these laws. They don't like any more than we do to be serenaded inside of our homes at full volume into the later hours of the night by nightclubs masquerading as restaurants that never should have been allowed to operate like this in the first place. Without any warning and long after most bought those homes.

That fact that we are "blessed" with an inept and corrupt local government doesn't mean that this offensive behavior by a few clubs is any more acceptable here. It just means they continue to get away with it until, hopefully, at some point the government actually starts to do some of what it is paid to do, as it has in the localities where this very needed law is being enforced.

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Or as local writer and ecologist John Pint wrote "People have the right to defend themselves against Acoustic Terrorism". Ha Ha - I like that one! Mind you, once this one is under control, the people will move onto defending themselves against "Fashion Terrorism".

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Guest bennie2

MC, 1) agree 100% the night club music is the worst. (know the venue you speak of). there were also 24 hour parties 2 summers ago on juan alvarez. (in a private home). we think they were charging people to come in. everyone was young & there were several 100 kids coming & going. 2) the muffler issue should be addressed on another thread. you would be surprised how bad it is for people living near the carrettera. in this case there is a $$ incentive to enforce it. indivduals riding around are not paying anyone off like the clubs are.

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I am happy to report that we United Neighbors of El Barco and Plaza B have successfully made meaningful contact with Chapala that has resulted in a new peace in this area! El B. is now presenting better music at a lower volume, and Plaza B just did not fly, anyway.

To effectively complain about the noise problems, you need to present a united front along with your Mexican neighbors. This means you need to speak Spanish - the Mexicans dislike the loud rock bands and city weekend music as much as we do! They are not immune to noise! It is not their pretty, melodious, traditional music that is offensive, abrasive, and invasive to the homes of all the people who are forced against their will to hear it. Repeatedly!

Agree among yourselves that you will all call Chapala, 765-4444, at the time the offense is happening, and tell them where it is coming from, and can the Jefe de Licensias please be informed?

As someone already stated, the way the new DB level law is enforced is that Chapala, after receiving many complaints can let the club owner know that their business license will be yanked if the complaints continue. Ever since that news came out in the GR last June, El B changed their tune! It is very expensive to get a new business license if it has been revoked, so there is that motive to improve the problem.

This has also improved the situation with the party venue nearby. I once heard some good jazz musicians warming up there one day, and went over and sort of crashed the party after being invited in. I enjoyed them, but had to return home to other things. I noted that the volume inside my house of their playing was about 90% as loud as being right there.

The open air architecture, constructed with concrete and bricks, in MX does NOT lend itself well to amplified music, so volume restraint is even more necessary here! Mexicans are learning this the hard way! Few know anything about amplified sound technology. It's all too loud, and no one seems to realize how far and loud it carries, and how many people it bothers!

Caveat: The bandas, mariachis, and cohetes are long standing traditions, and are the People's Choice. It's only the minority of gringos here who complain about them - please do not do that officially!

But, the gringo rock "musicians" should know better - if they actually had any professional experience playing in the US! Everything is soundproofed and enclosed up there! Outdoor venues are located well away from population centers, and usually have specially designed sound baffling to mitigate the sound. Sound waves do not obey zoning laws! Sound laws are strictly enforced. Club owners do NOT want bands playing so loud the bartender can't hear orders. If you can't hear someone talk in a club, it is too loud!

Regarding Restaurante #4, the night before Carnaval, the Tall Boys were playing there. There was also a banda concert going on at the Lienzo Charro a block away from my house. #4 is 3 long blocks from my house, yet the Tall Boys volume was equal in my house to the Banda! That is WAY too loud, but it seemed someone turned them down later...mercifully!

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