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Outdoor Dining OK, Without Amplified Music

Potential for noise complaints curbs commissioners' recommendation.

Restaurants located near homes should be able to , city plan commissioners said Monday.

Amplified music on decks and patios could become the biggest problem for neighbors who live near restaurants, city officials said.

Outdoor dining currently is not allowed for restaurants zoned B1 located near residential areas. Most of the restaurants with B1 zoning are located along Capitol Drive.

There are some restaurants zoned B1 in other areas of the city, including along Greenfield Avenue, where the owner of is interested in adding 20 outdoor seats.

Bougey's is in Ald. Lisa Mellone's district, and she questioned whether amplified music would negatively impact neighbors' quality of life. 

Bougey's owner Gareth Trinko has said he does not object to a ban on amplified music.

If the city did allow amplified music in B1 districts and neighbors complained, staff would struggle to handle such dispute because the city has no noise ordinance governing decibel levels for such activity, plan commissioner Dean Marquardt said. 

The Plan Commission unanimously recommended aldermen allow outdoor dining in B1 districts but prohibit amplified music. The Common Council may vote on the recommendation March 15. 

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