Cocoa Beach considering stricter noise ordinance, businesses pushing back

A popular beach town could be turning down the volume earlier at night.

Cocoa Beach commissioners say loud music is disturbing the peace of longtime residents, and they want to update the current noise ordinance. Right now, the volume’s supposed to get quieter at 11 p.m., but a new proposal would move that up to 9 p.m. on weeknights.

Businesses say, tourism’s never been better and this restriction will only hurt the city’s growth."This has been a tourist town as long as I know," said Scott Levy who owns multiple bars in Cocoa Beach.

Homeowners are speaking up at city meetings, saying they aren’t happy about the large crowds -- and loud music -- late at night."My hearing’s not as good as it used to, and I can hear it perfectly. 

It’s a problem. I think it needs to be addressed, and I think the only way to really settle it to make it at a volume that is not going to hurt the businesses or the residents but make it at a fine where it hurts," said a Cocoa Beach resident during a recent City Commission meeting.

City commissioners are trying to keep the peace by proposing the changes."Sunday to Thursday, it would be lowered from 11 to 9 p.m. – so from 9 to overnight. The logic is, this is largely a residential community," said Jeremy Hutcherson who’s spearheading the new noise ordinance. 

He said it’s important because the city had the same code for 60 years. Long-time business owners disagree saying the new ordinance will only push people away.

"If they shut it down at 9, all the businesses here are going to fail," said Ingrid Llaverias who manages Area 142. 

"By doing different changes in times and things like that, it’s going to affect everybody somehow – all retail, restaurants," Levy concluded. "It’s just going to be a reason for people not come here."

If the new ordinance does pass, it will be city-wide, affecting vacation rentals and homeowners. The first reading of the ordinance will be on Thursday, June 15 at Cocoa Beach's city commission meeting.