Read this very detailed article on noise int he 5 points area of El Paso HERE. It's way longer than it should be... It's a simple story that has been told since the beginning of time (maybe not that long) - people don't like their neighbors and are seeking to use the government's power in order to rectify the situation. And by "rectify the situation" I mean "stomp their asses into the ground and leave them in financial ruin." I'm just kidding! I'm not taking a side here.
What I will do is put up a scenario here for you (eventually... I need to educate you on the ways of the world first).
Rep. Jim Tolbert is mentioned in the article because this is his district. He comes off as the guy who wants to make everyone happy. That's a good place to start from. That's what you do when you want to be seen as a problem solver.
HOWEVER... it's not going to work. Tolbert will find that the residents will not be happy until the bars are burned with their owners and patrons locked inside. There is no middle ground. You can sound proof the walls, build parking away from the homes and force the bars to close at noon and the residents will still be upset. Why? Change. People f*cking hate change. There didn't used to be a bar scene there and now there is and they don't like it.
No matter what Tolbert does, one group is going to hate him. He has to choose whether he sides with the people who can cast a ballot for him, or with the guys who could give him huge campaign donations (the bar owners). You'd think the answer would be obvious, but you're wrong.
If you assess the neighborhood complainer's voting history, current connections to elected officials and general political participation, you will learn a lot. What you learn may be that of the 30 angry people, only about two vote. Remember, this is El Paso - not voting is the local pastime. Maybe those people aren't all that connected to a candidate or even the democratic party machine. Maybe they're just an angry group of folks who really have no way of completely destroying a candidate's run for office. What's a couple of votes??? No biggie.
The business owners could give you a donation that you could use to reach hundreds of voters with your message. A couple of grand from each goes a long way in a small campaign. Hell, they may even let you have some campaign events at their bars. If you were real smart you get the mobile voting unit to show up on a Saturday afternoon and shuffle all the patrons into the voting booths after you've plied them with some free beer.
I guess that's one scenario...
The other way it goes is that the neighbors are calling the shots in the area (election wise) and Tolbert has to do what they say or lose the election. This means he has to pressure city staff to go harass the bar owners until they leave (the article mentions the 3 legged monkey debacle from a while back). And that means the city gets sued in the name of one guy's political ambition.
Either way, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
And just so you know... I wouldn't like having a bar close to my house. That's why I live where I live - they can't build a bar near my house. So I guess understand the resident's complaints. However, it's not like those are brand new buildings. They've known that those are commercial sites and just about anything could be put there. They shouldn't be so shocked that bars ended up in those buildings. You have to always think worst case scenario.
Best of luck to everybody... but mostly I hope this becomes a fight that divides the entire city and I get to write about it. Where's Norma Chavez when you need her?