Mérida, Yucatán — Since last October, Alejandra Balam’s home in the north has been fairly sleepless. One of her grandchildren is about to fail the sixth grade because her performance in school has suffered.
She is an example of what’s happened in neighborhoods such as San Ramón Norte, Emiliano Zapata Norte and San Antonio Cucul, Diario de Yucatán reports. Residences with high walls, swimming pools, gardens and terraces have enjoyed peace and tranquility until six months ago, when the first of three rooftop nightclubs opened.
The three bars atop the eight-story Skycity complex on Avenida Andrés García Lavín play electronic music on their outdoor terraces until 3 or 4 in the morning five nights a week, Yucatán Ahora reports.
From that height, the sound can be heard for miles.
The city is mulling new noise ordinances that would be enforced anywhere in Mérida. The regulations focus on soundproofing areas where music is played.
The new bars have their supporters, who associate noise complaints with foreigners living downtown. But Diario’s recent reporting — an in-depth story was published today — tracks Meridanos living north of the Centro.
“This has become unbearable. From 3 in the afternoon we endure the aggressive ‘boom, boom, boom’ of their speakers until 3, 4 in the morning,” says Dr. Gabriel Loret de Mola Esquivel, who lives a few blocks away.
Neighbors have complained to the police, but to no avail. Patrols arrive, the bars lower the volume for a while, but as soon as they leave, the “boom, boom, boom” returns.
“It is obvious that they can not do anything,” said Loret de Mola.
More than 80 residents in the area signed a petition that was delivered to City Hall, the department of urban development of the municipality and the state Human Rights Commission.
“…The neighbors have not remained idle, we have collected signatures, we have explained the situation, we have asked for this to be resolved. Everything has come to the City Council, they know about this problem and nobody has done anything,” says Gisela Casimiro Andrade, a young dentist and college instructor who can see — and hear — Skycity from her bedroom.
On social media, Casimiro Andrade has uploaded videos documenting what she can hear from her bedroom window. Tagging the posts #MauricioVila, #Ayuntamiento and #DesarrolloUrbano, she has gotten the attention of local media, including the TV station Telesur.
Skycity is a modern-style high rise with office space and 27 apartments on its lower floors. It is one of several new vertical-style developments arising in the city’s north.
“It is not possible to live with this commotion every night,” says Alejandra Balam. “It’s because the noise does not let her sleep. The building where the bars work is in front of my house and it seems that the musicians play next to her bed. It’s awful.”
The residents tell Diario that the only thing they claim is “the right to rest.” They do not want to give the impression that they are against people having a good time, and they don’t want employees to lose their jobs.
“The issue is noise. Many of us here are entrepreneurs and we know what these bars mean in terms of investment and jobs, but we need to rest. We do not want the bars to close, but we do not have to endure their commotion until 4 in the morning,” says Pinto Macari.
Sources: Diario de Yucatán, Yucatán Ahora