OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Planning and Development Committee agreed to allow a downtown business to have outdoor music until 1:30 a.m. next month.
Councilor Cathy Santos, Third Ward, wanted to reopen discussion regarding the noise ordinance as it relates to the acceptable hours for live music downtown.
She also wanted to reconsider an approved resolution (#261) for a noise ordinance waiver for Don Wahrendorf, owner of The Sting at 49-51 W. Bridge St.
“Mr. Wahrendorf actually volunteered to chair a group of business owners and engage them and have a discussion about coming up with some sort of a agreement so that they can have a discussion here with use relevant to the particular times that we’re looking for for waivers,” Council President Ron Kaplewicz said. “It seems that right now we are a little inconsistent and we have granted some waivers as late as 1:30 in the morning. There are some large discrepancies and there are some questions from the business owners regarding the times.”
He and Councilor Connie Cosemento, First Ward, agreed that they need to talk with some of the residents around these areas to get their input as well.
The council is considering 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.
Wahrendorf was granted an earlier variance, but was also seeking one for September, when the college is in full swing. To be fair, the committee recommended giving him a variance until 1:30 a.m. – to be competitive with a business that already had this time approved for it.
Cosemento pointed out that she was and still is against granting waivers until 1:30 a.m.
“I have had recent complaints (about loud music) from folks that are moving into apartments … these are young professionals, the types of people we want to stay with us,” she said. “I think that no establishment in Oswego needs to have outdoor music until 1:30 a.m.”
“We already gave one establishment until 1:30. I don’t see how we can turn around and say this person can and this person can’t,” Councilor Dan Donovan said.
Councilor Bill Sharkey, Sixth Ward, agreed.
“Until the end of the year, we let it go where it is and next year we’ll have a new start,” he said.
“What are we telling the people of Oswego, oh don’t worry it’s only going to be for this year. They have to get up and go to work on Saturdays and Sundays in many cases,” Cosemento said.
“What do we do now that we’ve already established that we’re going to do it (1:30 a.m.)? You want to yank the rug out from underneath them?” Sharkey asked. “He already has the waiver and all that, we gave him a waiver; OK, hindsight will tell you it wasn’t the brightest idea but now how are we going to fix it, tell all of the rest of them they can’t do it but he can do it? I had seven brothers and sisters. It didn’t fly in my family that way, that’s for sure.”
Anyone can file a complaint with the police department and they will deal with the situation, Kaplewicz noted. “There is a way for us to shut it down if it’s outrageous. And, that has worked for us.”
“We have had several (complaints) not specifically just the downtown area,” Police Chief Tory DeCaire said.
Every one the police talked to were complaint, he said, adding they either turned it down or shut it down.
The full council will consider granting the waiver for Wahrendorf, as well as the entire situation.