McKinney council noise vote

Musical performances will no longer be exempt from McKinney’s noise regulations as the result of a McKinney City Council vote.

In August 2019, musical performances had been included in a list of exceptions to the city’s performance standards when it came to noise stipulations. Assistant Planning Director Mark Doty told City Council members on Tuesday that that inclusion had an unintended consequence – it made musical performances exempt from all of the city’s noise regulations, including those in another part of the city’s noise regulations.

“And so what we’re coming back to do is say we’re sorry for doing that and ask for y’all to remove a musical performance from our list of exemptions so that our staff, code (enforcement) in particular, can start actually following up on these noise complaints as we have them come in,” Doty said.

The council’s decision on Tuesday amends the city’s performance standards to remove musical performances from the exemption list. The decision came after the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended the amendment during a prior meeting.

During the meeting, McKinney resident Greg Booth asked council members to postpone approving the amendment and said the amendment would shut down outdoor music of any kind.

Planning Director Jennifer Arnold said the amendment would not necessarily shut down music for restaurants near homes. She said the city’s noise regulations include allowances for the use of music and outdoor noise during certain times in the downtown area.

Councilman Frederick Frazier said he knew there had been complaints about two popular local restaurants.

“And the last thing we want to do is hurt a small business and have a business fined,” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Rainey Rogers said the amendment wouldn’t change other stipulations in the city’s noise regulations and that the issue didn’t have anything to do with music at restaurants.

“All we’re doing is saying ‘you can’t go and play the electric guitar in the middle of the road on a Saturday night at 3 a.m.,’” Rogers said. “This says you can. What we’re trying to do is say, ‘no you can’t.’”

Development Services Director Michael Quint said the amendment would put the ordinance back to what it had been before 2019 when the changes had been made.

“And I don’t recall hearing any issues or complaints prior to 2019,” he said.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the amendment. Frazier voted against the approval.

Before the vote, Councilman Scott Elliott said he was in favor of the amendment but mentioned the potential for unintended consequences.

“If we have unintended consequences, I would sure love to have staff come back and visit with us and say, ‘Hey, you did this, but here’s the scoop,’” he said.

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