Noise Complaints Restrict Midtown Business

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jan 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-29 23:57:15-05

Owners of several Midtown restaurants and bars said it's unfair to be punished for a city ordinance that affects live music and their business. 

Soulshine Pizza Factory on Division Street was recently in court following numerous noise complaints from nearby residents. 

"Music is the oxygen that we breath here. I wouldn't live right next to the train tracks if I didn't like trains," Justin Styll, owner of Tall Boy Marketing and Soulshine's marketing director, said. 

The restaurant has been known for its patio and live performances, but will now have to enclose the area under a court order. Enclosing the patio with garage doors will cost approximately $100,000, Chris Sartin, owner of Soulshine, told NewsChannel 5. 

The court order prohibited live music being played in the patio until it's properly enclosed. 

"This is where everybody comes," Styll added. "We've had to move all music inside and we can't play amplified music."

The city ordinance stated that it's unlawful to operate or allow the operation of any sound amplification equipment as to create sounds that are plainly audible from the boundary lines of the nearest residentially occupied property. 

The recent developments impacted The WannaBeatles, a Beatles cover band, who planned to hold a concert  at the patio of Soulshine to commemorate the band's iconic rooftop performance.

They could have played with a special permit, but to avoid potential legal drama, the restaurant decided to have the concert inside which has a smaller space. 

At first it was canceled, but after generating plenty of feedback through social media, the concert will continue and start at noon on Monday, January 30. It's hosted by Nashville's Hippie Radio.

"We are Music City, so let's keep the music in Music City and find a way to work with people and get a solution," Dennis Scott, a band member said. "Outdoor concerts I suppose are problematic at some degree but I don't think it's something that can't be solved with a little cooperation."

Sartin said their music has never been a problem until late last year and fears for the future of music in Music City. 

The identities of who made the complaints were unknown, but business owners said their establishments have been there longer before the new residential properties. 

The district councilman, Freddie O'Connell, told NewsChannel 5 on the phone that a meeting with the Urban Residents Association will discuss the noise ordinance on Monday night. 

"It's a tricky issue," O'Connell said. "Even in Music City, there are ways to have a happy balance."

Click on this link to learn more about the ordinance.