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Downtown Tampa apartment dwellers say turn down the music

Owners of the 23-story Nine 15, an upscale residential complex in downtown Tampa, are suing Franklin Manor, a bar across the street, over noise complaints from residents, according to documents filed in Hillsborough County courts.

The lawsuit alleges Franklin Manor plays “booming” and sometimes “vulgar” music that keeps residents awake at night. The suit claims the bar is continuing to violate the city’s noise ordinance despite police citations and warnings.

The Franklin Manor owner allegedly retaliated to complaints by saying he was “going to turn his music up all the way,” according to the suit.

The plaintiffs describe the music as similar in volume to a chainsaw, passing motorcycle or loud conversation. It says one of the vulgar songs played at the bar was A$AP Rocky’s “F—in’ Problems.”

Tampa’s noise ordinance bans anything louder than 85 decibels in downtown between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. — that’s about the noise level of city traffic.

Plaintiffs say the excessive noise is causing residents to lose sleep, which is affecting people’s jobs and even marriages.

Nine 15 contains 362 one and two bedroom apartments.

Both the apartments and bar are located at the intersection of Franklin and Tyler streets in downtown Tampa.

Franklin Manor also hosts live music events, which also contribute to the noise.

Noise complaints are not uncommon in downtown areas where residential living mixes with nightlife. The city of St. Petersburg has long grappled with its own noise ordinance as residents in a historic condo tower face loud noise pouring through old windows.

Tampa updated its noise ordinance in 2016 to offer better noise protection for residents. The restrictions in downtown and Ybor City are more relaxed than the rest of the city because of the bar and entertainment scene.

Such ordinances pit businesses against residents. Tampa fines rule breakers $150 on first offenses and up to $450 for subsequent offenses. Habitual offenders can face shut down through the city’s nuisance abatement board.

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