HPD Strikes Again: Boondocks Hit With Noise Ordinance Citations

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photos by Marco Torres
Saturday night legal trouble for Boondocks manager and DJs
Saturday night, as we rolled up to Boondocks (1417 Westheimer) for the H-Town Sneaker Summit Pre-Party, something felt strange. There were cop cars on Hawthorne Street, lights blazing, and police officers roaming around. We first assumed that they were ticketing illegally parked vehicles and were waiting for a tow truck. We parked (legally) and proceeded into the party. After a few minutes of hanging out at the DJ booth, Ryan, the manager on duty, summoned DJ Sober to the front door. We followed.

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DJ Sober & DJ Dayta: Visibly Upset
Two of Houston's finest requested the identification of both the manager and the DJ, then continued to explain that they were each receiving a citation due to complaints about the noise. According to the police officer, Boondocks had been given a warning on a previous night, and a subsequent complaint resulted in these citations. A third citation was issued to DJ Dayta because he was also playing music at this event.

One of the police officers was overheard as saying that the actual noise or volume of the music was not the issue, but rather that the bass was hitting too hard, and it could be felt inside the homes surrounding the club. He advised the citation recipients that they would have a chance to explain their case to a judge in court, but if the complainants choose not to show up, then the case will be dismissed. "Unfortunately, this is where we are currently with the city," the police officer stated.

We asked that police officer if these types of complaints and citations have increased since the new city ordinance was passed. He told us that the frequency was about the same as before.

The owner of Boondocks arrived on the scene shortly after the citations were handed out. He assured the manager and the DJs that the club would pay for any fees and that his attorney would "take care" of the matter in court.

I spoke to DJ Sober after the incident and he gave this quote:

I think it's excessive to write three citations for the same thing. As one of the Djs that was ticketed, it's unfair, seeing how the levels were set by the club and Myself and Dayta stayed within our limit. As far as the residents complaining. Don't move in next to a bar, if your a light sleeper.

Of course, the first song played after the police intervention:

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13 comments
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Steve Gilbert
Steve Gilbert

They rolled up on us at the Capitol at St. Germain two Saturdays ago.  No citation though.  Touch and go....

Esteban T
Esteban T

Don't pay any of the fees automatically.  Request a trial by jury and the case will probably get thrown out.  Either way, it's impossible for them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you caused the vibrations.  Therefore, they will have to throw it out eventually.

Evan
Evan

Urban residents have urban issues; suburban residents have suburban issues. Both should choose and deal with it. 

Feris
Feris

Cocaine requires lots of thumping bass. 

Julie Cornell Fanning
Julie Cornell Fanning

I was there and sitting outside, the music could barely be heard from outside.  This is an absurd issue!  I saw the cops walk up, but I thought they were checking occupancy.  I am shocked to find out it was noise.  I hope the tickets are dismissed for these guys, it was not deserved!

Clay Wisner
Clay Wisner

I hope that the consortium working to change this ordinance is successful. Issuing citations without measuring for compliance with an objective limit on sound is totally at the whim of a neighbor with a bad attitude. That being said, precious few venues will be willing to (a) turn down the music (which would be a good thing for people's hearing) or (b) spend the money to properly isolate their venue. This is especially difficult for low frequencies, obviously. It's simplistic to say "don't live next to a music venue if you don't want to hear it" - in many cases, the residents were there long before the bar/club. Our lack of zoning makes this particularly maddening for both sides of the issue. The bottom line - some serious self-policing (and maybe taking some cookies to the neighbors) is in order, or this will only get worse.

BrandoC
BrandoC

No bueno. I remember when I used to hit Boondocks every other Sunday night.

Eddie D.
Eddie D.

You really need to play a song called "Fuck The Neighbors" because it's not the fault of the police that tickets were issued... but then again there isn't a song with that title is there?

Squashmosh44
Squashmosh44

noise complaint -big d is the first that comes to mind. but definitely not as good asa "fuck the neighbors" song would be,

H_e_x
H_e_x

Are the people playing the music (bands, djs) usually given a citation along with the venue? Is this new or is this standard operating procedure?

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