It appears Chapala does not understand the new noise law – or doesn’t want to.
The law applies 24 hours per day, setting standards for two periods: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The residential area standard is 55 decibels daytime and 50db after 10 p.m. The commercial area standard is 68db daytime and 65db nighttime.
Under the law, Chapala municipal authorities are required to enforce for the entire day, not just after 9 p.m.
Also, venues remaining open until 2 a.m. must have a nightclub license as opposed to a restaurant license which requires closing hours earlier. This too is regularly flouted by faux restaurants that are actually unlicensed nightclubs, whose principal business is selling liquor, noise and dancing.
One egregious example in southeast Ajijic has been bathing its wholly residential area in noise 5 to 6 evenings per week for years. It calls itself a restaurant but is basically empty until the loud music, drinking and dancing start in the early evening.
Measurement of the noise from this place using a dedicated sound meter routinely shows levels exceeding the law by two to three times before and after 9 p.m. They aren’t even close to being in compliance with past or current noise laws. To add to the involuntary listening “enjoyment” of the neighborhood, they added a raised bandstand which projects their racket even more effectively.
Your recent article doesn’t assure us that Chapala is yet serious about calming the din in our neighborhoods that they allowed and facilitated in the first place. I hope you will continue to monitor and report on this topic with a very healthy dose of skepticism based on all our past experiences with the Chapala government.
Daniel Houck, Ajijic