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Acoustics engineer envisions compromise in the Centro

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A Santa Ana home, owned by a Mexican citizen, protests excessive noise from newly built nightclubs. Photo: Lee Steele

Mérida, Yucatán — Solving the noise problem in the Centro is not so easy, an acoustics expert says.

That may explain the delay in new noise ordinances that were promised months ago.

The recent proliferation of nightclubs adjacent to private homes and hotels has created a conflict that city officials addressed after years of complaints.

Containing sound is not easy or cheap, said Roberto Velazco, a 30-year specialist in the subject and owner of Soluciones Acústicas.

“There are places where it is impossible to encapsulate the sound because they would require a very large investment, so we put a limit on them to play up to such volume and no more,” Velazco told Yucatán Ahora. “We also suggest certain equipment so that your dispersion pattern is controlled and does not bother the neighbors. We look for the solution for each one.”

Regulations may be imminent, but that won’t end the issue, he said.

“In the Centro, practically all places that have live music require an investment and entrepreneurs do not have that money in the bag,” said Velazco, who said he has tried to keep his prices low when consulting with clients.

His businesses’ portfolio includes La Bierhaus and other Mérida restaurants.

He understands the point of view from each side. The city expects businesses to keep music no louder than 60 decibels.

“Now they are above 65 and 75 decibels and the neighbors are right to complain. For their part, the businessmen are also right in that they risk their capital,” he explained.

A night club without loud music won’t catch on with young people, he noted.

But the expert sees a compromise: The government loans funds to bars to install sound-proofing, and neighbors tolerate “a little noise, too.”

Source: Yucatán Ahora

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