Noise laws by next week, says Merida mayor, echoing familiar promise

City Hall tries to placate both businesses and sleepless residents

La Mentecata is one of the Centro's most boisterous bars, and its outside entertainment makes it a lousy neighbor for private residents who were on the same block before them. Photo: Courtesy
Businesses should be prepared to stay within the law, mayor says
La Mentecata is one of the Centro’s most boisterous bars, and its outside entertainment makes it a lousy neighbor for private residents who were there first. Photo: Facebook

Merida, Yucatan — Long-promised noise regulations are coming to the Centro Historico next week, said Mayor Renán Barrera Concha.

The vow comes after three meetings with residents and the Historic Center Board, or Patronato del Centro Histórico, he said. Next, he will meet with a member of Carinac, the restaurant chamber, to warn them about changes to the law. Soundproofing and limited outdoor music are two points expected to be a major part of the rules.

The city has been responding to noise complaints five or six times a week, Barrera Concha said.

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Interviewed at the ceremony that celebrated the XCVII anniversary of the Autonomous University of Yucatan, the mayor said that business owners need to be prepared so they don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.

When elected last year, the mayor inherited the conflict from the previous administration, which had promised a resolution to the problem in April.

Several old homes and offices in the Centro started conversions into noisy nightclubs in the last three or so years. Many shared walls with residential properties.

Opponents to noise regulations have characterized the issue as pitting self-entitled foreigners against clubs that would naturally exist in a dynamic city center.

Locals, not expats, have led protests, however. Parents with small children, and hotel owners with sleepless guests, became vocal.

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“We are not a few idle gringos, but thousands of Yucatecans, Mexicans and foreigners of different nationalities,” said Olga Moguel Pereyra, owner of Amaro restaurant, at a press conference last year.

Residents, flustered with a lack of response from the city, then plastered the Centro with protest banners, to the embarrassment of city officials. Many of those banners remain visible, nearly a year later.

The current mayor also served between 2012 and 2015, before nightclub noise became a hot-button issue. Barrera Concha campaigned on bringing order back to the Centro.

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