Last week, Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley issued a memo that the regulations and licenses as they pertain to night club music ceasing at midnight should be enforced. This was in specific response to complaints aired out at consultations with businesses and residents in the area of the B.T.L. park. Several of the areas in the Newtown Barracks were reportedly not in compliance with existing regulations, particularly as it relates to some of them not having sound proof rooms to accommodate any extension license beyond the midnight deadline. Somehow, those establishments were still operating with outdoor music into the wee hours of the morning, much to the nuisance of residents in the area. The Mayor has taken some heat for his action but today, the Deparmetn of Environemtn issued a statement indicating its support for the Mayor’s decision. It says,
“.. the Department of the Environment (DOE) supports the Mayor of Belize City and the Belize City Council in enforcing legislation that exists to ensure that there is a balance between the economic development of Belize and a healthy environment for all. As a Government Department that stands by its motto “Balancing Development and the Environment”, the DOE believes in the economic/commercial development of the community, but not at the expense of the very same citizens we are here to develop and protect. This specific area in question has been a challenging location for the DOE on the issue of noise pollution.”
The statement continues in saying that noise abatement legislation have been on the books for quite a long time now, in the form of the Pollution Regulations of 1995 and the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act. The Pollution Regulations speak to “permissible levels” of noise and the pre-requirement of “soundproofing” of establishments producing noise. The release also says,
” The DOE is once again, as has been for the past 20 years, requesting the support of ALL Liquor Licensing Boards throughout the country that, before a license is issued to an establishment, it ensures that the DOE has approved such establishment regarding prevention of noise pollution. For too long violators of the noise abatement regulations have gone unregulated, making it a norm in our society to just accept that violating our laws is a way of life.”
The DOE says it also calls on the relevant authorities, such as Local Governments, Police Department, Business Owners/Private Sector and especially the Liquor Licensing Boards, to work together to ensure compliance with existing legislation.