A confusing look at the city ordinance
I live in a college town, in a neighborhood full of college-aged people. In my neighborhood, I live in one of eight town homes. The other seven house my fellow college students.
I live in a loud neighborhood. I’ve gotten used to wearing earplugs at night and shutting my windows – even when it’s 90 degrees out. It’s part of living where I live.
I’ve heard people yell at each other at one in the morning. I’ve heard the annoying banter of a guy trying to seduce the unconvinced female. And I put up with it — to a certain point.
I’ve done my share of yelling out my window to “please be quiet,” at 3 a.m. But I expect a certain level of rowdiness to float into my hearing range occasionally, especially on the weekends.
I also have grown accustomed to the parties that are so prevalent during the football season. I don’t follow football. It’s a miracle when I actually know who won the game, but I live in a town where football is kind of a big deal for a couple months out of the year. Sometimes I get woken up by the “F ’em up, F ’em up, go CU” chant, but I deal with it.
With all this being said, I have to point out that I don’t just shrug my shoulders and sink deeply into a peaceful slumber after the animal-like grunting noises outside my window have woken me up. I definitely bitch to my roommates and whoever else is around to hear my complaints.
But here’s what really makes me mad. The first party my roommates and I had this year was busted. Not by someone from the Boulder Police Department, but by the environmental police, also known as the Boulder Environmental and Zoning Enforcement.
We weren’t doing keg stands. We weren’t doing hits from a beer bong. We were just enjoying ourselves and dancing. There wasn’t any yelling or shouting or CU fight songs — just dancing.
And how many nights have I put up with all the noise from my surrounding neighbors when I could have called the environmental police and didn’t? I can’t even count the number of times, and I’ve only lived at my current address for two months.
So, you could imagine my surprise when I looked out my window and saw two figures in uniform walking towards my front door this past Saturday night.
It was 12:30 a.m. when they broke up my party. No one was ticketed, but everyone was asked to leave. I was given a warning and told that if they came back within 90 days, I would be ticketed and fined.
That means three months without having a party.
My neighbors have parties every weekend, which includes the three-day CU weekend of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And the first time I have one — I get busted.
I told the cops that I had cleared it with my neighbors, which I had, but they told me I must not have told the neighbors in the building behind me — the belligerent neighbors that I hear yelling every weekend.
The City of Boulder has a noise ordinance called “Unreasonable Noise,” which “applies to amplified sounds after 11 p.m.” that can be heard 100 yards from the property. A hundred yards — that’s almost an entire football field.
And 11 p.m. in a college town — that seems a little unreasonable to me. Most college-aged kids don’t go out until that time anyways. If the City of Boulder expects its residents, which is largely made up of college students, to start their parties at 7 p.m. and be done by 11 p.m., Boulder has a very skewed idea of what type of people make up the population.
My neighbor across from me told me the next day that he could only hear the noise when people were going in and out of the apartment.
So for another 88 days — and counting — I can’t have a party. Instead, I get to listen to my neighbors yell and scream: “F ’em up, F ’em up, go CU.”
Contact Campus Press Editor Jenny Bergen at firstname.lastname@example.org.