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Old 03-12-2009, 08:08 PM  
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An ordinance of the city council

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN MARCOS, TEXAS AMENDING THE SAN MARCOS CITY CODE SECTION 34.701 TO DEFINE THE TERMS EXCESSIVE NOISE AND UNRULY GATHERING; AMENDING SECTION 34.702 TO PROHIBIT PARTY HOSTS OR GUESTS FROM CAUSING EXCESSIVE NOISE, OBSTRUCTING STREETS OR DRIVEWAYS, ENGAGING IN OR ALLOWING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LAW VIOLATIONS OR PARTICIPATING IN OR ALLOWING AN UNRULY GATHERING; PROHIBITING OWNERS AND MANAGERS OF APARTMENT COMPLEXES FROM ALLOWING COMMON AREAS TO BE USED AS VENUES FOR UNRULY GATHERINGS; PROVIDING FOR NOTIFICATION OF PROPERTY OWNERS AND MANAGERS AFTER TWO (2) VERIFIED EXCESSIVE NOISE COMPLAINTS, HOST OR GUEST RESPONSIBILITY VIOLATIONS, OR UNRULY GATHERINGS HAVE OCCURRED WITHIN A SIXTY (60) DAY PERIOD; PROVIDING FOR AGREEMENTS CONCERNING FUTURE ABATEMENT STRATEGIES; AUTHORIZING A FEE OF $100 FOR EACH POLICE RESPONSE FOR REPEATED VIOLATIONS; REPEALING SECTIONS 34.090 THROUGH 34.096 OF THE SAN MARCOS CITY CODE; PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES; INCLUDING PROCEDURAL PROVISIONS AND DECLARING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN MARCOS, TEXAS:



SECTION 1. Section 34.088 of the San Marcos City Code is hereby amended to read as follows: (deletions are shown with strikethroughs, additions are underlined)

?Sec. 34.088 Nuisance Excessive NoiseViolations; penalties

a. It is unlawful for a person who owns, occupies or acts as a property manager for a residence or is present at any residence to allow the residence to become or to remain a nuisance due to excessive noise cause, make, or allow excessive noise to be made there if it can be heard across property lines or enters another residence. A determination that noise is excessive may be based upon, but need not be limited to, a consideration of any of the following factors: the time of day; the size of any gathering of persons making or contributing to the noise; the use of noise amplification equipment; the magnitude or disruptive effect of the noise; the duration of the noise; or whether the noise would tend to cause distress, discomfort, annoyance, or injury to a person of ordinary sensibility. Sources of excessive noise may include but are not limited to live or recorded human voices or sounds produced by radio, stereo, television, musical instruments or other devices.?

b. An excessive noise violation shall be punished, upon conviction, by a fine not to exceed $500 as provided in Section 1.015(b) of the San Marcos City Code.?
SECTION 2. Chapter 34, Article 6, Host Responsibilities For Parties In Residential Areas, Section 34.701, Definitions, of the San Marcos City Code is hereby amended to modify and add definitions as follows: (deletions are shown with strikethroughs, additions are underlined)

Apartment complex means a multi-family development containing one or more buildings that have at least four dwelling units.

Excessive noise means noise that can be heard across property lines or enters a residence other than the residence from which the noise originated. A determination that noise is excessive may be based upon, but need not be limited to, a consideration of any of the following factors: the time of day; the size of any gathering of persons making or contributing to the noise; the use of noise amplification equipment; the magnitude or disruptive effect of the noise; the duration of the noise; or whether the noise would tend to cause distress, discomfort, annoyance, or injury to a person of ordinary sensibility. Sources of excessive noise may include but are not limited to live or recorded human voices or sounds produced by radio, stereo, television, musical instruments or other devices.?

Guest means any person who attends a party other than the host, whether invited or not.

Unruly gathering means a gathering of more than one person which is conducted on premises within the city and which, by reason of the conduct of those persons in attendance, results in the occurrence of more than one of the following conditions or events on public or private property; rioting; the unlawful sale, furnishing, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages; the destruction of property; obstruction of roadways, driveways, or public ways by crowds or vehicles; excessive noise; disturbances, brawls, fights, or quarrels; public urination or defecation; or indecent or obscene conduct or exposure.

ECTION 3. Section 34.702, Host Responsiblities For Parties In Residential Areas, of the San Marcos City Code is hereby amended to read as follows: (deletions are shown with strikethroughs, additions are underlined)

?Sec. 34.702. Responsibilities of hosts, guests, owners or managers of common areas at apartment complexes.

(a) It is unlawful for a host to fail:
(1) To ensure that excessive noise is not produced from the host?s party. does not reach an unlawful level.
(2) To ensure that any alcoholic beverages provided or served at the host?s party are controlled in a manner that ensures the alcoholic beverage laws are not violated;
(3) To advise his guests that streets and driveways cannot be blocked by vehicles of persons attending the host?s party;
(4) To ensure that litter related to the host?s party is properly disposed of by 10:00 a.m. of the day morning after the party started; or
(5) To prevent the party from becoming an unruly gathering.

(b) It is unlawful for a guest attending a party to engage in conduct that results in one or more of the following conditions or events on public or private property: rioting; the unlawful sale, furnishing, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages; the destruction of property; obstruction of roadways, driveways, or public ways by crowds or vehicles; excessive noise; disturbances, brawls,
fights, or quarrels; public urination or defecation; or indecent or obscene conduct or exposure.

(c) It is unlawful for the owner or manager of an apartment complex to allow an unruly gathering to occur in a common area.?


(d) It is not a defense to prosecution for violations of any law or ordinance that a security officer or officers who were hired for a party failed to properly fulfill the host?s duties in subsection (a) of this section.

(e) It is prima facie evidence that the host violated subsection (a)(1) if the police warn the host that vehicles of persons attending the host?s party are blocking streets and driveways and that these vehicles need to be moved, and the vehicles are not moved within a reasonable time.

(f) If a police officer determines that a party has become an unruly gathering, the officer may order all persons not residing at the site of the party to leave immediately. Any person who fails or refuses to abide by such an order commits an offense.

(h) A violation of any provision of subsection (a), (b), (c) or (f) of this section shall be punished, upon conviction, by a fine not to exceed $500.00 as provided by Section 1.015(b) of the San Marcos City Code.

SECTION 4. Section 34.089 of the San Marcos City Code is amended to read as follows: (deletions are shown with strikethroughs, additions are underlined)

Sec. 34.089 Notification of property owners; abatement strategies; remedies
(a)If a property owner or manager registers his property with the police department, then The police department will may notify the property owner or property manager, by e-mail, in writing of if two verified excessive noise complaints, host or guest responsibility violations, or unruly gathering violations that occur on the registered property within a sixty (60) day period. Registration information must be submitted on forms provided by the police department.

(b) After notification under subsection (a), the property owner, property owner?s designee or the property manager shall contact the police department within ten (10) days of the date of the notice in order to reach agreement on strategies to prevent further violations from occurring on the property which may include education, mediation, enforcement of lease violations against tenants, refusal to renew the lease of particular tenants or eviction. If an agreement is reached, the matter will be deemed resolved unless there is another verified excessive noise complaint, host or guest responsibility violation, or unruly gathering within 90 days of the most recent complaint or violation. If an agreement includes non-renewal of the lease or eviction, there will be no charge for police responses to the property if the lease termination or eviction occurs within 60 days of the date of the execution of the agreement. If an agreement is not reached or if another verified excessive noise complaint, host or guest responsibility violation,
or unruly gathering occurs within 90 days of the most recent complaint or violation, then the property owner or property manager may be assessed a fee of $100 for each of the two prior police responses and each subsequent
police response to the property for such verified complaints and violations within six months from the date of last verified complaint or violation

SECTION 5. Sections 34.090 ? 34.096 of the San Marcos City Code are hereby repealed. Section 34.097, Suspension of Electric Service, shall be renumbered as Section 34.090.

SECTION 6. If any word, phrase, clause, sentence, or paragraph of this ordinance is held to be unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the other provisions of this ordinance will continue in force if they can
be given effect without the invalid portion.

SECTION 7. All ordinances and resolution or parts of ordinances or resolutions in conflict with this ordinance are repealed.

SECTION 8. This ordinance shall become effective upon publication of its caption following adoption on second reading.
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