Neighbors of White Oak Music Hall file another lawsuit

By Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor , Jake Reiner - Reporter

HOUSTON - Neighbors of the White Oak Music Hall announced Tuesday that they added the city of Houston to the lawsuit over the embattled venue.

This is the latest in a series of suits against the concert hall in Near Northside, which residents of the neighborhood have dubbed a nuisance.

Attorney Cris Feldman held a news conference to announce the suit, accusing city leaders of failing to properly enforce the sound ordinance.

"This is a family neighborhood filled with kids," Feldman said.

He claimed the city of Houston must interpret and enforce the sound ordinance, adding that Mayor Sylvester Turner promised a thorough investigation.

[White Oak Music Hall lawsuit press conference]

Residents said it's not just the outdoor stage at White Oak Music Hall they have a problem with, it's also the indoor concerts bass so loud that it shakes homes.

"I didn't ask for this. This shouldn't be here. The neighborhood needs help," resident Theresa Cavin said.

"Someone should protect us and our family," resident Linda Vargas said.

Feldman also talked about adding more policing to the area to help enforce the sound ordinance.

"Have the city read its own sound ordinance where it says you are to enforce or measure the sound from the property line from the offending property. Instead what the city is doing is taking random sound measurements far away from the venue, making enforcement incredibly difficult," Feldman said.

The city of Houston responded to a KPRC2 request with, "No comment."

White Oak Music Hall officials released the following statement:

“The plaintiffs have revised their lawsuit against White Oak Music Hall to include the City of Houston. 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. 

“The City of Houston and the Houston Police Department remain important gatekeepers against the plaintiffs’ strategy of making frivolous emergency calls for service to prop up their case, which directs police resources away from real emergencies. 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.

“White Oak Music Hall is entitled to an impartial jury trial by its peers, and will continue to defend itself against all of the plaintiffs’ allegations. White Oak Music Hall will continue to work with the City of Houston to create a venue which adds cultural, aesthetic, and infrastructure benefits to the area, and in the meantime, all of our shows, both indoor and out, will continue as normal.”

The trial is expected to start in October.

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