White Oak Neighbors Sue City
A group of angry neighbors that has gotten temporary injunctions against Houston venue
White Oak Music Hall is now suing the city for failing to enforce noise ordinances.These are the latest claims from community members that have been unsuccessfully trying to stop the Hall’s construction of an outdoor stage since 2016.
A judge ordered the venue to stop scheduling new outdoor events from Jan. 25 to May 15, but did not ultimately halt construction of the permanent outdoor stage that the venue owners recently got a permit to build.
The judge also ruled the venue had to deploy sound level monitoring at various points on its property for outdoor shows, and had to report those readings to the court on a periodic basis. Now, neighbors are arguing in the complaint filed June 13 that the city is falling short on its duties to hold the venue accountable.
“If the city properly enforced the sound ordinance … White Oak Music Hall would not be able to maintain its current conduct,” attorney Chris Feldman told the Houston Chronicle. “But the city is giving them a pass with its head-in-the-sand approach.”
The injunction from the judge has expired and White Oak’s summer and fall schedule includes performances from Father John Misty, Young The Giant, The War On Drugs, and
White Oak Music Hall on the lawn.
“This latest legal maneuver is disappointing, as White Oak Music Hall believes that both the City of Houston and the Houston Police Department have faithfully fulfilled their obligations to respect both the rights of nearby residents and White Oak Music Hall in a fair and impartial manner,” White Oak reps told Pollstar in a statement. “The current case is not a class action, and remains a small number of individuals in a neighborhood of hundreds of households, many of whom strongly support White Oak Music Hall.
Contrary to reports stating otherwise, White Oak Music Hall has had two trials regarding noise tickets, one of which resulted in a not guilty verdict rendered by a Houston jury, and the second a mistrial due to impermissible testimony from a prosecution witness.”
The suit is set to go to trial in October.