ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) - It’s all about location, location, location. It’s one of the most important things to consider when buying a house and for restaurants/bars with outdoor music venues. For Happy Harbor, Tacky Jacks or Flipper, it may mean making some adjustments to how they handle outdoor music.
“Our sound ordinance is really, really complicated because it deals with industrial sounds, it deals with just background noise, and it also deals with amplified music,” Al Bradley, a council member for Orange Beach said. “And it's hard for people to truly understand which section applies to them. And so we need to simplify that ordinance.”
The council put a 180 day moratorium on building 8000 square feet or larger restaurants with outdoor venues.
“We're not looking to put anybody out of business, particularly the existing people,” Bradley said. “We just need to get the ordinance so that everyone understands the ground rules and how you apply it.”
Bradley said they’re working during off-season to get this done smoothly. He said they should be able to figure out a solution within four months, but doesn’t want to box themselves in.
“We did the six month moratorium just to be sure. So you don't have to come back and do it again."
Happy Harbor said they used to get several complaints from their neighbors, but feel that they have found a nice balance with the community.
“A lot of them come down and enjoy the music. We like to bring in culture from other areas. So everybody really likes it, it's just you have to stop at 10 pm and that's just the rules," Henry Bateman, general manager, said.
Bateman feels like there can be an outcome that will work for both venues and the community at large.
“"I would just like to see a little more science involved instead of just throwing out decibel levels and numbers. Let's see how we can measure them so that every place is measured the same. The same standard is set for everyone. There's no leaving it open to interpretation,” Bateman said. “Let's get a rock solid law, put it in effect, we'll tow the line and go from there."
The hope is that both sides can find a solid middle ground.
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