By Bryce Abshier – Contact Bryce@TheVOSM.net
Complaints stemming from excessively loud music have landed the Belleview Mi Pueblo Flea Market in hot water. At a recent City of Belleview Code Compliance Hearing, it was decided the market will be fined $350 for city expenses related to repeated noise complaints.
Belleview Mi Pueblo is located at 12180 US-441, inside of Belleview city limits. Many will remember it as the former location of Grumpy Jerry’s Flea Market.
During the hearing, Belleview code enforcement officials outlined their case against Contreras Giovanna Loyola, the owner of Belleview Mi Pueblo. According to the officials, Belleview’s Development Services Director received information that several noise complaints were made to the office of the Belleview Mayor on August 19 and 20, 2023.
On those dates, Belleview Police responded to the scene and could hear loud music from Highway 441 while approaching the property. On August 19, the responding officer went across Highway 441, into a neighborhood in excess of 650 feet away, and could still hear the music.
On August 20, another responding officer from Belleview was dispatched to Mi Pueblo for more loud music complaints. Reportedly, upon the officer’s arrival into the parking lot, the music was immediately turned down.
At a September 9, 2023 meeting of the Belleview City Commission, even more loud music complaints were discussed.
Online records indicate that excessively loud music complaints date back further than 2023. Members of a Facebook group titled “Lake Weir Gardens and Surrounding Neighborhoods” have shared complaints about loud music coming from the Mi Pueblo Flea Market as early as October, 2021. “It’s literally vibrating everything in my house,” wrote one Facebook user. “I’m over off of 301 and hear it, that’s crazy loud” wrote another. Another Lake Weir Gardens group post, this time from September, 2022, echoed more of the same thoughts. “I don’t care if they play the music, but when I hear it in my house with the windows shut, that’s a problem. I will call the cops next time,” wrote an unhappy neighbor. The Lake Weir Gardens community entrance is almost a third of a mile away from Mi Pueblo, or 1,500 feet.
The Mi Pueblo property was annexed into Belleview in November, 2021.
At the recent hearing, Mi Pueblo owner Contreras Giovanna Loyola, as well as an employee of the flea market, brought forth their defense. “Our goal is to bring happiness to the community,” said Loyola. “We would like to know if there is any established noise limit allowed so we can keep it under control?,” she asked. Code Enforcement officials later stated that Belleview’s code does not provide for a specific decibel level in determining unnecessary noise.
“We feel that we are not having a fair treatment in this matter. We are willing to follow regulations and do business the right way,” Loyola explained.
An employee of the Belleview Mi Pueblo flea market offered an explanation for the music. “Music is a natural magnet to attract visitors,” she said. “This could result in higher sales for our vendors.”
“Music is a universal language that unites people all different origins and cultures,” the employee went on. “This will foster a since of community and diversity at our flea market.”
“We don’t want to bother anybody. That is the last thing we want to do.”
During the hearing, it was also indicated by Belleview Planning and Zoning staff that Mi Pueblo is not authorized by the city to hold any permits for special events, that would allow loud music, due to other situations that may come before a Code Hearing at a future date. No other details on those issues were provided.
The hearing was adjourned with fines of $350 assessed for city expenses plus attorney fees. The Mi Pueblo owner was warned that further violations within 365 days will result in more action by Belleview Code Enforcement.