A majority of Manatee Chamber of Commerce members want the city of Bradenton and Manatee County to reconsider adopting a proposed noise ordinance that some fear could hurt entertainment-related businesses.
The results of a survey with more than 500 responses mirror those found in an earlier survey by Motorworks Brewing, which has said the restrictions would hurt its business on Ninth Street West.
Unlike the Motorworks survey, the chamber’s survey was open only to Chamber of Commerce members.
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Michael Gallen, vice president of public policy and small business for the chamber, spearheaded the chamber’s survey following public concern about the proposed ordinance’s restrictive nature.
“The takeaway is that the chamber membership has the same concerns as our committees did,” said Gallen. “These are business members. We purposely didn’t send it out on social media because we wanted to hear the voice of our chamber members, because it is our role to advocate for those businesses.”
Gallen said 62 percent of the respondents said they want an 11 p.m. or later cutoff time during the week; 84 percent said midnight or later on the weekends; and 84 percent said a decibel level of 80 is more reasonable than the current and proposed level of 65. The proposed county ordinance, as well as Bradenton’s current ordinance, also cut off outside noise at 10 p.m., seven days a week.
As a result of the survey, the chamber’s board of directors has voted to send a letter to the cities and Manatee County to recommend that they “implement policies that would balance a vibrant downtown, but also with the rights of the residents in mind.”
Last month, the city of Bradenton voted to piggy-back onto the county’s more restrictive ordinance rather than pursue its own to specifically address the needs of the entertainment district. However, Mayor Wayne Poston said the city reserves the right to opt out, depending on the final drafting of the county measure.
We were not happy, so we asked that it not go to public hearing and instead go to a work session.
Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore
Palmetto officials have already opted out of the county’s ordinance, citing several similar concerns, and are currently working on their own.
The county was expected to bring the ordinance to a public hearing last week, but it never appeared. County Commissioner Carol Whitmore said city officials are not the only ones having issues with the language.
“We were not happy, so we asked that it not go to public hearing and instead go to a work session,” she said.
The county scheduled the work session for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 16.