In an unexpected turn of events, noise complaints dropped dramatically in December.
The battle between residents of the once-sleepy Centro and bar owners who have capitalized on a trend toward more nightclubs has raged for years now.
Between September and the end of November, the city issued 35 sanctions to noisy neighbors. But in the month of December, only two citizen complaints were filed, said the Director of Urban Development of the City of Merida, Federico Sauri Molina.
So either residents have accepted some level of noise, have gone deaf and can no longer hear it, or Centro businesses are actually considering their neighbors when turning up the volume.
After protracted negotiations between community groups and business leaders, the city passed noise regulations in June, with financial penalties for repeat offenders.
Since then, clubs like the Delorean have been forced to close after reportedly ignoring rules about sound proofing. A food court complex on Calle 47 is closed and listed for sale after authorities sanctioned owners for outdoor music that could be heard for blocks around.
The director of the municipal agency said there is a crew that patrols in the afternoons and evenings to seek out violators.
Retails stores blaring their specials over loudspeakers have also been cited.
“Workshops, party halls, and factories have been sanctioned, since everyone can be punished,” said Sauri Molina. Fines range from 25,000 to 2 million pesos for repeat offenders.