City officials reached a compromise Wednesday during a lengthy discussion on amending Bradenton’s noise ordinance. Officials overcame two key hurdles that would likely simplify the process and have a new ordinance in place sooner rather than later.
The city council came to a consensus to eliminate language related to amplified music and that future decibel readings would be taken from the property line of the complainant and not the business in question. Currently, the city allows up to 75 decibels with no time restrictions except for amplified music, which drops to 65 decibels after 10 p.m. seven days a week.
It’s a good starting point to move this forward.
City attorney Bill Lisch
The question became the old riddle of: “Which weighs more, 75 pounds of steel or 75 pounds of feathers?” Officials determined that not a lot more needed to be done to bring uniformity into the ordinance and give nightlife businesses a little more freedom.
For a better understanding of what 75 decibels sounds like, officials received a demonstration by the Bradenton Police Department, which played music in the entrance of the auditorium. Officials listened to the music inside and then outside to compare the difference. Noise can be very subjective, and not all officials were on the same page as to whether it was considered loud.
Councilman Harold Byrd Jr. said should the city officially establish an entertainment district, officials could look at modifying decibel levels, if necessary. Roff said he remains concerned for residents in the Village of the Arts located behind Motorworks Brewing on Ninth Street West.
Most vibrant, hip arts communities have things going on. Maybe that’s why the village hasn’t taken off as much as it should.
Ward 4 City Councilman Bemis Smith
Motorworks came to the front of the debate in May when it launched an online petition asking for later hours to operate outside. The overwhelming support for the city to enact change was later backed up with a Manatee Chamber of Commerce survey of its members.
“VOTA doesn’t want nightclubs,” Roff said. “They still want to continue being galleries, but they want to be user-friendly toward Motorworks because they do get spill-off customers. But there’s a fine line here. That’s an existing residential neighborhood.”
Councilman Bemis Smith said it was a good compromise, but the village should embrace a new ordinance for its own events.
“VOTA wants to be a hip arts community, but they want to do it in silence,” Smith said. “Most vibrant, hip arts communities have things going on. Maybe that’s why the village hasn’t taken off as much as it should.”
City attorney Bill Lisch said, “It’s a good starting point to move this forward. If problems crop up with something that is unforeseen, then it can be amended.”