St. Pete finds compromise on downtown noise
A tentative truce between downtown bars and residents appears to have been brokered after a year of raucous debate over downtown noise levels.
A City Council committee voted unanimously to require downtown businesses to lower the volume on their outdoor speakers after 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. The establishments would also have to angle their speakers downward if outside and away from the door if inside.
Previous discussions had broached requiring bars and other nighttime venues from shutting the music off entirely at those times.
"This is a relatively modest proposal," said council member Karl Nurse. "That doesn't involve a lot of rock throwing between the two groups."
Previous discussions had attracted plenty of partisans from both sides with perturbed residents sitting side by side with bar owners at the Public Services and Infrastructure Committee. On Thursday, though, neither side showed up in force.
Council member Steve Kornell, who had opposed previous attempts to squelch dowtown noice said he thought the compromise worked. He had been concerned that noise rules that were too rigid would hamper the city's growing live-music scene.
"I think balance is the key," he said.
The measure now advances to a full council vote.