Loud noise is now OK until 10 p.m., government decree says

Persons plagued by loud sounds from national events near their homes will now have to wait until 10 p.m. to get relief.

The noise control rules have been amended to include a clause that says cultural, musical and sporting events in public places are allowed to happen at the accepted daytime sound level until 10 p.m. This change was printed in a decree published in La Gaceta a week ago.

Before this, public events by the law had to be finished by 8 p.m. and any loud night concert or activity put on after this time was a violation.

This included the Lady Gaga concert, which occurred last November at the Estado Nacional. The show was the biggest performance Costa Rica has had to date. However, it didn’t begin until 8 p.m.

Carlos Mendez, who attended the concert, said the noise was so loud he could hear it at his home in the La Sabana area before he left. This is common for events held at the stadium, he said.

According to the decree, the noise is justified. The government is obligated to promote and maintain conditions that fill the population’s vital needs. This includes the fundamental pillar of recreation, described as all activities that are developed for the purpose of relaxation and entertainment.

Recreational activities of cultural, sporting and musical nature are a basic pillar of the mental health, and it is important to promote these activities in sites such as public squares, parks and stadiums, the gazette decree concluded. The original measure, Reglamento para el control de contaminación por ruido, was published in 2000.

The stadium also is the site for professional soccer games, which are more or less sacred in Costa Rica. In addition to noise, residents have complained about massive traffic jams.

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