Neighbors, Bars Clash Over Noise Complaints

Pereasha Coy said she couldn’t believe her ears when she was awakened by gunshots at the student housing apartments she had just moved to in August 2010. “I looked out my window and saw a guy kicking through the fence that separates the apartment and the club,” Coy said. “I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Coy, a senior biology major, said this was only the beginning of a semester-long nuisance the nightclub behind her apartment complex would cause.

Nightclubs around the Texas Tech area have driven some local residents and students to contact police with complaints. The Roof nightclub and bar, which overlooks Jones AT&T Stadium, has had some complaints from neighbors.

Stefan Williams, an employee at The Roof who has worked there since it opened in September 2011, said he is aware The Roof has gotten complaints from residents in the neighborhood around the bar. “We had a pretty big system with large PA speakers and such,” Williams said, “but it would have had to be the loud bass and stuff because from what I’ve heard it’s resonated for like a quarter mile or so from around the area.”

Williams said he doesn’t know where the complaints were coming from, but since the last noise complaint, the bar has made changes to keep neighbors happier. “Ever since the last complaint,” Williams said, “we have gotten a new PA system that’s not as loud and since we’ve had that system, we haven’t had any complaints. That’s probably the major measure that we’ve taken and probably just toned it down overall. We don’t get as loud as we used to get.”

Williams said he could see how the music might have been an issue for people on the east side of the bar. The DJ was once set up facing east, where there are no walls or barriers to stop the sound. Since then, Williams said, the bar has moved the DJ setup to face other areas where there are no homes.

“When we did get those tickets I do recall, and I didn’t know where the calls were coming from, but if it was over there,” Williams said pointing to east Lubbock, “I can totally see why but we haven’t had any incidents since then. We’ve had the DJ pointed south and then pointed west where there’s no residences and that makes a lot of difference.”

Keshia Anerobi, a junior anthropology major, lives at University Fountains immediately behind Luxor nightclub and said on Saturday and Sunday nights, things can get rowdy. Anerobi said she has heard horror stories of fights at the club. “I guess someone was fighting one time,” Anerobi said, “and they were pressed against the fence and they were hitting and hitting and hitting and they just kind of broke through (the) fence.”

She’s even heard stories of shootings at the nightclub.

“The shooting took place over there,” Anerobi said pointing to the parking lot of the club from her balcony, “and I think they found bullet casings over here.” But Anerobi said she hasn’t had any problems with the nightclub so far this semester. “The reason why I’m a little more cautious is because it did happen,” Anerobi said, “so they’re working on it and there haven’t been any problems yet.”

Anerobi said she also gets a discount on her rent since her apartment balcony faces the nightclub. “I pay $505 so that’s a plus,” Anerobi said, “because I know the other apartments are more expensive. Some of my friends who stay in the same floor plan, they pay like $560 or $570.”

This is a luxury that wasn’t afforded to Coy, who lived in the apartment above Anerobi’s at University Fountains for two years. “When I stayed there, I paid the full $560 and I think we had more problems then than they do now,” Coy said. “If I would have known that the building they assigned me to would face the club, I would have asked for a discount, too.”

Sgt. Jonathan Stewart with the Lubbock Police Department said there’s no minimum on the number of noise complaints a bar can get before another step is taken – meaning that sometimes, just once is enough. “When we get a complaint, we’ll dispatch an officer and assess,” Stewart said. “It depends on the situation. Sometimes we’ll ask them to turn it down or they may receive a ticket.”

Sgt. Stewart said The Roof has received five loud music calls since the beginning of August. Luxor hasn’t received any since the beginning of August. Anerobi said the main problem she’s had so far hasn’t been related to the nightclub.

“The only problems I have here is my upstairs neighbors,” Anerobi said, “because they’re really, really loud.” For her, the club is more of a nuisance than a safety issue. “The day that I’ll fear for safety is when somebody actually breaks through the fence,” Anerobi said.

“Then I’m going to have to move to a different apartment.”

Contributed to The Hub by Dr. Kaufhold’s multi-platform class and
Filming: Sarah Scroggins, The Hub; Print: Stacia Smith; Photos: Corley Peel

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