Did you know that YOU can help us keep our neighborhoods peaceful?

As tax paying citizens of Montgomery County, Texas, we have the right to enjoy a reasonable level of peace and quiet while at home. It is a very important quality of life issue.

Although some noise in our daily living is unavoidable, such as the routine repair and maintenance of our homes and communities, it is most often controlled by community association deed restrictions. The deed restrictions usually include language that prohibits loud garden and construction machinery between the hours of 8 pm to 7 am so as not to disturb its citizens’ time for rest and relaxation.

One of the most difficult problems to deal with is the question of noise. Noise issues vary greatly, from your neighbor’s late night parties, barking dogs, to the noise generated by highways, railroads, etc. But one of the most troubling problems with intrusive noise is that which is propagated by disrespectful neighbors.

In Montgomery County, there are no laws governing loud noise, such as the Noise Ordinances adopted by the City of Houston. The ordinances were implemented so that others rights are not violated and citizens have some control over conditions within their own neighborhoods. After much research and noise testing the City determined that 65 decibels of unwanted noise from a neighbor constitutes a daytime violation; at night, the number drops to 58. Those numbers lie between normal conversation (50 decibels) and a vacuum cleaner (70). The Montgomery County Sheriff's Dept. is restricted by Texas Penal Code Title 9, Chapter 42.01 which states an 85 decibel limit 7 days a week, 24 hours a day which is difficult to enforce and equates to somewhere between Houston rush hour traffic at 78 decibels and an airplane landing at Hobby Airport measuring 96 decibels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 55 decibels is enough to annoy and distract someone outdoors; inside, it takes only 45 decibels.

Houston’s ordinances are laws that must be obeyed by everyone and violating them can earn you a fine of up to $2,000. In the tiny town of Montgomery, the fine is $500.

So what do WE do when we have neighbors who do not care about their communities’ peace and quiet and feel they have the right to do whatever they please in their own home, no matter how offensive and intrusive it is to the rest of the community? They may party and play loud music into the early morning hours, or frequently argue and fight with family members and friends on their lawns, or they may amuse themselves by squealing their car tires, blowing their horns or setting off their car alarms, or simply allowing their pets to bark all night in the yard.

What can YOU do about it in Montgomery County?

You can:
1. Attempt to have a civil conversation with your neighbor
2. Send your neighbor a letter requesting they stop the noise, or
3. Call the sheriff's dispatch and have them enforce the Noise Ordinance.

Oh, wait, I forgot, we do not have a defined Noise Ordinance in Montgomery County, and so, unfortunately, the sheriff's deputies are left with option 1 only.

Having personally experimented with all of the above for one whole year, I can tell you that not only does it not work, it only intensifies the situation.

Being a good neighbor means respecting each other's rights. Some people are just plain rude. They are self-absorbed and have no desire to respond to neighbor complaints or work on settling these disputes.


Help us petition for a Noise Ordinance in Montgomery County, Texas. (send an email to Noisyneighbors100@gmail.com)

Let us know if you are behind us by answering our survey, and write a blog about your situation.

Don’t let your family be victimized by unconscionable neighbors.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Response regarding current laws

It is true that counties cannot adopt a noise ordinance. That is the purpose of this organization; to pass state legislation 'allowing Texas counties to adopt noise ordinances.' It has been proposed before but has yet to be addressed. Once counties are able to adopt noise ordinances, the next hurdle is to get the county to do just that. We do understand the obstacles in our path and we will address them one at a time and continue our mission. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

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