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City hints at new regulations against bar noise in Centro

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Mérida, Yucatán — As bars and nightclubs continue to establish businesses side-by-side with Centro homes, the city is now talking about modifying land use regulations.

Responding to complaints from residents — nationals as well as expats — the municipal director of Urban Development, Aref Karam Espósitos, said that city will work on Land Use modifications to address the conflict.

Residents have reported bars blasting music into the wee hours, and new clubs have staked out properties in historically residential neighborhoods.

For example, one new nightclub in Santa Ana shares a wall with a toddler’s bedroom. The little girl’s family was forced to move from their home of over five years because of thumping dance music lasting past 3 a.m. The modest, two-bedroom house is now unoccupied.

It’s not the case of a family moving into a nightclub zone and expecting tranquility. Both the family’s property and the bar space, established earlier this year, were built over 100 years ago as private residences.

And the homeowner, a native Meridano, bought his property at least seven years before the neighboring casona converted into a restaurant and nightclub space.

Homeowners have been astonished to find their neighborhoods morphing into a potential clubland, and calls to police have been typically fruitless because officials who monitor decibel levels are not on call.

“The capacity of diners, evacuation routes and certifications of Civil Protection are some points that nightlife sites must keep up to date,” said Karam Espósitos.

Business Chamber President Juan José Abraham Dáguer acknowledged that noise of the nightclubs affects the residents in the Historic Center, but he said forcing clubs to cease music at 11:30 p.m., as was suggested, would have a negative impact on business and tourism.

To mediate the conflict between neighbors and owners, the director of urban development said that appropriate measures will be taken to benefit both parties. However, he did not specify what these measures would be.

Karam Espósitos said that these establishments give life to the first frame of the Historical Center, especially to the youth population, both locals and tourists, who when visiting them leave a favorable economic boost for the city.

With information from Sipse

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