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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Compromise between noisy Merida nightclubs, residents remains to be seen

Multiple meetings between neighborhood groups, businesses seek co-existence between neighbors

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

Merida, Yucatan — City officials continue to tread cautiously in their attempt to mitigate noise pollution in the Centro.

After work that began during the previous administration, the City Council is preparing a reform to environmental protection regulations, trying to balance the conflicting needs of their business and residential constituents.

Revisions to the noise regulations — which will affect not only nightclubs but also retailers who point their loudspeakers toward the sidewalk — are due in three weeks. A vote on such revisions have been promised for nearly a year.

Citizen Participation Secretary Julio Sauma Castillo said 16 meetings between 10 municipal agencies and various group have occurred since November. Those groups include “Todos Somos Merida,” the Patronato del Centro Histórico, and business groups including the Mexican Association of Hotels of Yucatan.

The city has also met with academics for recommendations.

Sauma Castillo said that as a result of these meetings, officials concluded that noise constraints should be aimed at several areas of the city, not just the center. In the north, for example, night clubs atop multi-use high rises have vexed residents.

“Of course, due to its own dynamics, the problem occurs with greater incidence in the Historic Center, but the solution must be comprehensive for the benefit of all citizens,” the official said.

The director of the Interior, Gerardo Acevedo Macari, said that legal modifications will adhere to guidelines established in the Official Mexican Standard NOM- 081-ECOL-1994, which establishes the maximum permissible decibels.

“The rule establishes the limits and we have to focus on what it says and we can not exceed it because we would be violating the rule,” he explained.

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