OSWEGO, NY – Port City bars that receive a variance to the noise ordinance to host outdoor live entertainment will have to tone it down earlier.
The Planning and Development Committee sent a recommendation to the full council Monday night that would restrict the hours local bars could allow outside bands to play.
A couple of weeks ago, a downtown bar owner asked for a variance. He wanted to be on a par with other taverns in the area.
However, the committee members were unsure just what hours and conditions were granted for all the other bars who have received a variance.
Councilor Dan Donovan, Fifth Ward, researched to see what the hours were for the previous resolutions.
“We said we were going to look and see what we allowed other establishments,” he explained.
The times have been 1:30 a.m., 11 p.m. and others for “special occasions.”
“So it’s been all over the place as far as times go,” he said.
Committee chair Mike Myers suggested setting parameters for future variances.
“It might behoove us to not only take a look at what the time is but locations as well … some of these are across from the hospital and at the edge of (residential) areas,” Councilor Connie Cosemento said. “No band should be outdoors playing where they are serving alcohol at 1:30 in the morning.”
Council Vice President Shawn Walker noted that some residents have told him that 11 p.m. would be a good time to have things quieted down. He added that he was inclined to agree with them.
“It is easiest for us to be fair, if we are fair in the same way to everyone,” Cosemento said. “Then they know what to expect.”
“For us to think there are no complaints (about the noise), is ludicrous,” she added. “Because there are always complaints. Is one complaint enough to deny someone? I don’t know; but, I think a reasonable time is what we need to shoot for here.”
Council President Ron Kaplewicz suggested 9:30 or 10 p.m. for Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. for the weekend (Friday and Saturday) for variances.
Any “special” events would be given consideration by the council for later time.
The police could shut down an event if they deem it too loud, Kaplewicz said.
That is the last resolve currently in all the resolutions for a variance, Donovan pointed out.
The full council will consider the matter at its Aug. 8 meeting.
If approved, the weekday hours would be 10 p.m. and the weekend 11 p.m. “from that day forward,” Myers said.