Ocotlán is aiming to be one of the first municipalities in Jalisco to implement anti-noise regulations in line with statewide legislation that went into force last month.
On August 24, the so-called Ley Anti-Ruido (Anti-Noise Law) took effect in Jalisco although municipalities were given a period of 180 days within which they must modify their local bylaws to meet its requirements.
They include establishing a service to which residents can anonymously report excessive noise at any time of day and night and having the capacity to measure the levels of noise that have been complained about.
Noise restrictions apply to the hours between 9:00pm and 8:00am and those who don’t comply with the law — and didn’t obtain prior approval to exceed the permitted decibel levels — will have to reduce the volume within 30 minutes of being notified of the complaint or risk a fine of up to 50,000 pesos (US $2,640) and/or up to 36 hours detention.
Businesses which violate the law more than twice in the same year will face permanent closures.
The mayor of Ocotlán, a municipality around 80 kilometers southeast of Guadalajara near Lake Chapala, said this week that local authorities are already working on draft regulations that comply with the Anti-Noise Law, which was first proposed by state deputy Augusto Valencia, a member of the Citizens’ Movement (MC) party.
“In the coming days, we will be approaching the advisors of the deputy Augusto [Valencia] so that they review the draft and offer their opinion about it,” Paulo Gabriel Hernández said.
The mayor added that the aim is to have local regulations in place by December at the latest.
To inform the municipal bylaws, the council held a series of roundtable discussions Wednesday under the banner of “Turn down the volume, anti-noise Ocotlán.”
Municipal authorities will also seek input from residents and to set a positive example, fireworks will not be set off outside the hours established by the anti-noise law at official celebrations for Independence Day this weekend.
“With that, we will send the message that we’re the first to be complying with the law,” Hernández said.
Elsewhere in Jalisco, reaction to the new law has been mixed.
However, for some who are fed up with the cacophony of sounds that are a constant soundtrack to life in many parts of Mexico, extending into the late hours of night and wee hours of the morning, the law is a godsend.
“It’s perfect for me because I live in a neighborhood where the residents have parties every week but unfortunately we have to work, we get up early and [the constant noise] makes us very tired when we go to work,” said Guadalajara resident Miriam Vargas.
“For me, [the law] is perfect because now all the residents will be able to go to sleep early and we’ll perform much better in our jobs . . .”