Regulatory and Neighborhood Affairs Committee
Over the past few months, I’ve heard from numerous Houstonians about nuisance problems associated with bad-actor bars and nightclubs. These issues include noise, parking, capacity, disorderly conduct, crime, and more. To address these growing and persistent issues in several Houston neighborhoods, I convened a special-called meeting of the Regulatory and Neighborhood Affairs Committee on Monday, November 2, 2020. At the meeting, committee members heard from relevant city departments and state agencies including: the Houston Fire Department Fire Marshal; the Houston Police Department; the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission; the Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department; and the Legal Department.
Following the presentations, nearly 30 residents addressed the committee to provide comments. It was clear from their remarks, and from additional emails and calls received on this matter, many residents are dissatisfied with the city and TABC’s inability to effectively and consistently enforce rules to bring relief. It’s important to note, most of the complaints center around larger nightclubs and not smaller, responsible neighborhood bars. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many Houston bars have suffered significant economic loss, and it is important not to paint all establishments with one brush. I look forward to working with the administration to explore setting up a separate city classification for nightclubs, improving enforcement of laws on the books, and strengthening noise and other regulations to improve quality of life for nearby residents.
The presentations from Monday's meeting may be found on the RNA website and a recording of the meeting has been archived on HTV's website. Please continue to let me know your thoughts on this issue.