McKinney live music

The McKinney City Council will have to decide if musical performances can continue to be exempt from the city’s noise regulations as the result of a recommendation approved by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday evening.

In a unanimous vote, the Commission approved recommending that the City Council remove “musical performances” from the list of exceptions to the city’s noise regulations.

That list currently also includes sporting events, school-sponsored events and events sponsored or cosponsored by the city that are lawfully scheduled and in compliance with all permits.

Assistant Planning Director Mark Doty told commissioners in the year-and-a-half since additional exemptions had been added to the city’s noise regulations, the city found that musical performances were exempt from all noise regulations in McKinney.

“Which is not good, because that means that anyone can pretty much do anything with a musical performance and there’s no regulations or requirements for it,” Doty said. “So that could mean somebody who is having a live performance at The Yard or someone that has also set up maybe an acoustic guitar at a restaurant on Eldorado (Parkway) somewhere that the neighborhood can hear them, they’re allowed to do that currently.”

The Commission’s recommendation aims to remove musical performances from the list of exemptions.

“This will allow city staff to enforce those complaints better than what we’ve been able to do in the past year and a half,” Doty said.

Noise regulations as outlined in city documentation state that sound pressure of any operation or activity can’t exceed 65 decibels during daytime hours (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) or 58 decibels during the nighttime at the bounding property line of a residential use.

Regulations also state that the sound pressure level of an operation or activity can’t exceed 70 decibels during the daytime or 60 decibels at nighttime at the bounding property line of a non-residential use.

“We have fielded quite a few complaints,” Doty said Tuesday, “particularly, again, the restaurants where somebody’s setting up something on a patio, the surrounding neighborhood can hear that, and there’s really no way the code can go out and enforce that.”

The City Council will consider the amendment during its Jan. 19 meeting, Commission Chairman Bill Cox said.

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