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Your Opinion: Discord brewing over neighborhood noise

Your Opinion: Discord brewing over neighborhood noise

September 26th, 2012 by Bob Boldt, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

When Prison Brews opened I was delighted. Here was a venue with a friendly, neighborhood atmosphere and a great selection of beers. About a year ago I spoke with a friend who lives less than a block away from the establishment. When I invited him to join our group for a meet-up at the pub his countenance darkened. He explained that the Brews was not a good neighbor, that patron's cars, instead of parking in the adjacent lot, blocked up the residential street. The city even refused to designate the spot in front of a handicapped woman's house as a handicapped parking-only location.

But that wasn't the worst of it, my friend explained. The noise of the music, especially during fair-weather summer nights, was especially loud, disturbing the peace of what used to be quite a nice, quiet residential neighborhood.

Initial requests directly to the owner to tone it down a little were met with denial, hostility and intimidation. It is unfortunate that my friend has had to resort to making a 9/11 police call, just to get the establishment to be a good neighbor.

Now there is underway a new City Council ordinance to establish what are claimed to be acceptable levels and times for sounds coming from the place. My friend says these new regulations will allow them to make noise at proposed commercial 85-decibel levels (not the residential, 55-decibels) from 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

This appears to me to be unsatisfactory for people living in the neighborhood trying to get kids to do homework and to sleep, not to mention senior residents who are disturbed by the racket. What is the purpose of zoning if the reasons for ordinances that protect the health and safety of citizens are sacrificed to commercial interests? The neighborhood was there before Prison Brews opened its doors. It behooves them to fit in with citizens already there, not the other way around.

Surely there must be a way that the two can co-exist. There is no reason the music can't be moved indoors and the amps turned down a bit. So far the pub and the City Council seem to be completely disregarding the legitimate rights of the neighborhood.

I and my friends have decided to boycott Prison Brews until they become a good neighbor. I suggest others do the same.