The terraces of the bars and restaurants are a popular place to socialize and enjoy the outdoor atmosphere. However, it is common for conflicts to arise between businesses and neighbors due to noise, the occupation of public space and other aspects related to these terraces.
To guarantee a peaceful and fair coexistence, the local authorities in Spain have established specific regulations on the operation of the terraces in bars and restaurants. These regulations vary by municipality, but some general rules apply throughout the country.
Rules and responsibilities of the bars
Business premises wishing to install a terrace must obtain a specific municipal permit. This permit must detail aspects such as the size, location and hours of operation of the terrace.
These must also undergo the renewal of permits for the installation of terraces, since they usually have a determined duration. Businesses should keep an eye on expiration dates and renew their permits on time to avoid legal trouble.
In most municipalities, specific hours are strengthened in which the terraces can be open to the public. Closing times are usually earlier on weekdays to ensure peace of mind for residents at night.
Bars and restaurants must comply with the established noise limits to avoid disturbing the rest of the neighbors. In some locations, the emission of music or amplified noise on the terraces is prohibited.
The terraces cannot invade the public space beyond the limits authorized in the municipal permit. It is important that businesses respect pedestrian space and do not obstruct access to nearby homes and businesses.
There is even, in some locations, the temporary closure of terraces during certain events or local festivities. In these cases, establishments must abide by these provisions and respect the schedules established for the closure of their terraces in these special cases.
In some areas, the use of environmentally friendly materials and furniture is required for terraces. This can include the use of sustainable and recyclable items.
Commercial establishments are responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations related to their terraces. They must take measures to avoid disturbing the neighbors and ensure that customers respect the rules of behavior on the terrace.
What to do if you are affected by noise
If as a neighbor you feel affected by the activity of a terrace, it is important that you know your rights and know how to act in this situation. These are some of the steps you can follow:
Communicate with the establishment: If you feel that the terrace of a bar is causing discomfort, speak with the owner or manager of the establishment to express your concerns in a respectful and constructive way. Report to local authorities: If the inconvenience persists and you believe that municipal regulations are being violated, you can file a complaint with the competent authorities. Citizen Participation: If you are concerned about the impact of terraces in your community, consider joining neighborhood associations or citizen boards that address these issues and participate in local decision-making.
Knowing your rights as a neighbor will allow you to cope with the activity on the terraces of the bars in a fair and respectful manner. The regulation of the terraces seeks to balance commercial life and the well-being of the neighbors, creating a harmonious environment for everyone. Although in the first instance it will always be ideal that dialogue prevail to find such beneficial solutions, and in some cases the local authorities can facilitate this mediation process.