Updated anti-noise law won't make scumbars happy

Synbar drawing most complaints; owner cited for being drunk at his own bar - twice!

Late one night BD was on his porch, waiting for Asher to finish his business, when he heard someone yelling at him in a voice that could only be described as maniacal, loud and very close by.

We can't vouch for the accuracy of the words as presented here, but it sounded like

Hey you white boy, get out of here, we don't need your crap around here no more.

That sounds like about 10,000 people BD can name off the top of his head.

Even the dog went into protection mode as he ran around the yard, barking his little head off in an effort to scare off the intruder.

BD has heard worse than this in his life, but the person yelling this stuff was not directing it at BD personally, nor was he anywhere close to The Dog Pound.

This fool was screaming into a microphone over the music coming out of the speakers on the roof at SynBar, nearly three blocks south of our house.

And the number one noisiest bar is...

Are you surprised to know that the top issue at last week's Belmont NA National Night Out event was noise from the scumbars?? Would you be shocked to know that Synbar has been cited at least six times (including for the incident noted above) in the past few months, according to reports released by the Dallas Police Department? That includes people living as far south as Oram, north to Belmont and even into Stonebriar.

BD understands that Synbar's owner is very diplomatic about the problem and makes a lot of promises, but the beat goes on and on.

Erol's not exactly an angelic operator either. According to DPD report 05633439N (June 2004), Erol was arrested for being intoxicated in front of his own bar (his name is very misspelled in the report).

The very next night, he was cited for operating a valet stand with no insurance and no permit. He was also cited - again! - for being intoxicated (the report says his blood alcohol count was .16). According to report 0565399N, he tried to evade the arresting officer by running back into the bar and refusing to come out.

A DPD source tells BD that Erol locked himself in the office and would not open the door. The employees were told to not interfere while Erol was taken into custody.

His girlfriend Heidi, who also doubles as a general manager for the club, was Erol's fall girl for other citations. She was hit with a 42.01 Disorderly Conduct citation in late October 2004 (report 0824216N).

Heidi is going back to school so, BD wonders who will get the next ticket for noise that is sure to come. Heidi's got more sense (and brains) than Erol - she's entering medical school. That kind of training will be very useful when Erol comes home drunk from a hard day at the office.

You want more noise? We got more noise

With two rooftop patios, two ground-level patios and another mega-rooftop patio under construction, scumbar noise is just as big an issue now as it was when BarkingDogs went online in 1998.

It's also a big problem all around Dallas, so big the City Council recently revised the local ordinance to be more inclusive of the noise problems we encounter on Lower Greenville every weekend.

The state's Disorderly Conduct law (commonly referred to as 42.01) makes the noise issue a bigger problem for the bar owner - three calls in one month and Poof! you're in jail fighting over who sleeps in the top bunk with someone who was drinking at your bar just a few hours earlier.

BD has moved 42.01 and the revised City Code to the new website, so just click on either link for more information -

City of Dallas, Development Code 30-2 - Loud and disturbing noises and vibrations presumed to be offensive

Texas State Penal Code: Title 9 - Offenses against public order and decency

The ground rules for calling in noise complaints have changed

The process has changed, but that's because the DPD realizes their officers have hearing issues.

The first thing to remember is that you must call 9-1-1 to report the problem. Both laws require that a certified peace officer (in this case, a Dallas cop) issue a citation. And the only way to get a certified peace officer in Dallas is to call 9-1-1. Period. End of sentence.

These rules apply to all noises - dogs, construction, loud cars (harder to nail), band practices in the garage next door, and even steam whistles.

Forget that crap from people like John We are gonna sue the frigging neighborhood Kenyon who cried on the local news that neighbors with noise problems should call the City's Service Center at 3-1-1 and not bother the DPD with such minor issues like a loud bar. That ain't gonna bring you a cop, and it won't count against the scumbar when it comes to a legal or zoning hearing.

And trust BD, the bars don't want these calls to come back and haunt them six months later.

When you call 9-1-1, make sure you hit these important points (BD is not making this stuff up either - this information was provided by a senior corporal in the Northeast Division who deals with noise problems on the other end of Greenville).

  • Give them your name and address.
  • Tell them that you are being (pick one) kept awake, being disturbed by noise in your home, pushed out of your bed by the speaker noise, can't sleep, can't talk - due to the noise coming from a bar on Lower Greenville.
  • Tell them you want the officer to come to your house first to hear the noise before he goes out on Greenville to write the citation on the club.
  • Avoid giving them the name of the bar so that the officer cannot go out and give them a heads-up (yes, it happens). Be blunt and direct - you want the officer to come by your house first.

Why do it this way? According to the officer we spoke to, it provides a safety check for the process. The officer will write in the report that he heard the noise in your house, which is bottom line of the complaint. If the officer goes to the bar first, and they turn down the noise, the issue evaporates and no one gets cited. It also keeps the officer's ears from getting acclimated to the noise (leading to the question, What noise are you talking about?)

We both know that the DPD is shorthanded by hundreds of officers, so the chance of an officer actually arriving at your home is not very high. But on Friday and Saturday nights, there are plenty of officers assigned to Lower Greenville (at least eight, to the detriment of the rest of the division's residents who wait longer for service calls), and the odds increase significantly that an officer will arrive (in each of the reports BD reviewed, an officer was dispatched to answer the call).

But the important point is to get the report into the system, where it is available for review by wonks like BD.

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues