Aliana residents in Fort Bend spend sleepless nights over ruckus in neighborhood bar

SESHADRI KUMAR
A section of the residents of Aliana subdivision in Richmond have been running from pillar to post to have a peaceful night of sleep, undisturbed by noise nuisance from a nearby bar.

Their objections before the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission yielded no result. Their appeal to local elected officials was of no help either.

As a result the residents sent the following letter to this newspaper.

To the Editor:

The residents of Aliana subdivision have ben requesting all the appropriate government officials to discharge their legal duty and support their right to a safe and healthy Life for several months now without much success.

The residents shares property line with a proposed new Hookah Bar and Grill, located at 16803 W. Airport Blvd, Ste 100, Richmond, TX 77407.

Among other things the bar will bring with it belly dancing and stay open to 3 AM. Most of the residents have very young children and bought houses in this development with the hopes of using the open spaces around the proposed bar for recreation, healthy activities and peaceful socializing.

They have already been struggling with another similar bar, Einstein Pub and Arcade, 16733 W Airport Blvd, Ste 1, located in the same strip mall.

None of the promotional material used to sell these new houses indicated the unhealthy and unsafe establishments that the developer was lining up for the unsuspecting buyers.

Einstein pub has been a constant source of nuisance since September of last year to the 20 odd families that live in the immediate vicinity of the establishment. It is also about 200 ft from the Petite Maison Montessori school. This is a violation of local regulations that prohibit sale of alcoholic beverages within 300 ft of a school.

The bar routinely keeps the music volume extremely high till 2 AM and beyond, 4 nights a week. There are recorded videos of bar fights, people playing extremely loud and obscene music in the parking in open top vehicles, people doing donuts with their vehicles late in the night, and driving drunk and getting into vehicle accident.

The residents have called the sheriffs office numerous times over the past year; only to be told that only TABC can regulate this. The residents have been told that the bar has the right to play music up to 85 dB at all times and sheriff’s office cannot stop the nuisance.

The residents have asked the bar directly only to find that they retaliated by raising the music volume even higher. A letter, sent by the Commercial Owners Association to the bar, was ignored. The residents have tried several times to meet the owner and can never find them at the bar.

The residents collected over 100 home owner signatures and sent to TABC in March. In fact the volume of noise has continued to increase dramatically in the past month.

On April 24th the residents had to take matters in their hands and talk to the customers directly who were playing extremely loud music from 6PM onwards in the parking lot right behind their houses from an open top vehicle. Needless to say, the request had the opposite result and the customers turned the music up. Interestingly two of the three people were utterly intoxicated. The volume was so high that the residents could not sit in their backyard and talk to their guests. The residents have now changed their sleeping schedules where the kids and the older folks all know that they can go to bed only after 2 AM. The impact of this sleep depravation is hardly a problem that this establishment cares about. Some residents are contemplating selling the houses to safeguard their health.

The residents shudder to imagine what would happen once the second establishment comes along. The residents submitted multiple protests to TABC against granting of the new establishment’s alcohol permit , which is their legal right, and also a community protest with over 130 signatures, to the TABC. The school which is about 200 ft from the establishment has also submitted their protest. The law clearly says that the new establishment serving alcohol cannot be granted a license within 1000 ft of a private school. The TABC has chosen to respond to only a handful of the protests with reasons that ranged from-

1. there is no application for the proposed business;

2. the distance between the establishment and residents is not less than 300ft when the actual distance was less than 50 ft

3. the residents’ specific objections were ignored and some random clauses with no relevance were cited.

The residents have been requesting a hearing to make these matters clear but were consistently denied this legal right. Since the sheriff’s office made it clear that it wasn’t their problem, the residents approached the County attorney, the County Judge KP George and the Commissioner.

On April 17, about 100 odd residents came together and requested KP George in person to protest their case as clearly outlined and provisioned for by the TABC on their website. KP George’s office has been trying to determine for the past 3 weeks if they indeed have the right to do as stated clearly by TABC. Meanwhile, TABC has approved the alcohol permit and the bar is going full steam ahead to an opening.

It is a matter of time this business joins Einstein’s pub, and together lead to a major incident of either vehicle accident or violence. The residents are scared for their family’s safety thinking of the drunk violent people who might be spraying bullets one of these nights, 50 ft away from their innocent young children. What is truly frustrating is that the government officials are clearly refusing to follow the legal path setup for these establishments. Do citizens of this county have the right to a peaceful Life and Happiness in their own homes?

Thank you

Distressed citizens from Aliana.