pat copeland | sun
The music at the Barefoot Tiki Bar across the street from
city hall is not as loud as music from events in the
city hall park, commissioners said.
HOLMES BEACH – Calling themselves the worst offender for allowing all day amplified rock music in the city hall park, commissioners agreed to completely overhaul the city’s noise ordinance.
“The ordinance is not consistent with the city park and other establishments and amplified and non-amplified music,” Mayor Carmel Monti pointed out. “For example, the decibel level in the park is 110 and across the street (at the Barefoot Tiki Bar) or one of the restaurants it is 60. We are the worst offender by allowing the park a decibel level double what we allow anywhere else.”
He said if there is an all-day event, a band can play for two hours at 110 decibels and then take a break, which restarts the clock, and they can play another two hours at 110 decibels.
Commissioner Judy Titsworth said amplified music is not allowed for outdoor dining.
Chair Jean Peelen said, “Café on the Beach has amplified music every night. We need to look at the level of amplified music you can Decide what you want
“We need to pick a decibel number that you are comfortable with for the park and a distance from where we measure,” Police Chief Bill Tokajer suggested. “We may have different levels for day and night.
“We don’t allow amplified music for outdoor dining, but other restaurants have music inside that you can hear outside. With regard to outdoor dining, is that something you want enforced? If not, we need to change it.”
City Attorney Patricia Petruff said the city noise ordinance dates from 1978 and is archaic.
“This commission needs to have an open discussion about what your goal is, and then the chief and I can do the research on how to get you there so it will not be challenged in court,” Petruff advised.
Titsworth said her goal “is to not listen to anybody else’s play list in my home. As a commissioner, I’m embarrassed because we’re the worst offender.”
She said the Tiki Bar is allowed to have amplified music outside, but Eat Here was notified when it did the same and that they should enforce the ordinance equally.
Monti said he asked the owner of the Tiki Bar to “stay within a certain level, but we haven’t been enforcing it at the park and the beach. It’s wrong.”
Commissioner David Zaccagnino said they could have different decibel levels for different times of the day.
Titsworth introduced letters from neighbors of the city park who are concerned about the noise level from the music.
“The sound from some of these groups extends for blocks in all directions when ideally it should be limited to the audiences who choose to attend the performances,” they wrote.
They asked the commission to ban amplified music in the park or limit the decibel level. They also said parking should not be allowed on the sidewalk along the park because it blocks baby walkers, wheelchairs and walkers.
Resident Dick Motzer said he would rather hear amplified music from the Tiki Bar than “yelling and screaming from the mega houses because they’re overloaded with people.”
“We are responding to complaints from people about the music from the various places, so we have to send an officer out when we get a complaint,” Monti replied.
Nicole Heslop, owner of the Barefoot Tiki Bar, said the business has undergone many changes to keep up with the market and adding the music to the outdoor flea market has made it a success.
She asked commissioners to amend the code to allow amplified music for outdoor dining areas that are zoned C-3 and are not adjacent to residential property.
Peelen asked Monti and Tokajer to bring back specifics for a new ordinance. Monti said the current ordinance would be enforced until a new one is approved.
Tokajer added, “Which includes no amplified music for outdoor dining.”