homepage logo

Cape may revisit its noise ordinance

By Staff | Jan 7, 2020

Cape Coral is considering another look at its new noise ordinance.

Critics and supporters of the measure passed in December turned out Monday to voice their concerns to the Cape Coral City Council with the first venue to face a fine under the controversial measure pushing citizen input went well past the one-hour time limit allotted.

On Friday, Rusty’s Bar and Grill received a citation with a $150 fine for allegedly violating the ordinance after police were called out for the sixth time since the controversial law took effect.

On Monday, supporters of the bar, as well as residents nearby, voiced their respective concerns.

Those who work at Rusty’s said they feel like they venue is being targeted, since many other bars in the South Cape also have music outside and many of the complaints have been to them.

“The city is growing and we have to keep everyone happy,” said Nicole Isner, manager at Rusty’s, who also showed a handful of petitions to have the ordinance reversed.

Residents who live near Rusty’s said that while they generally like the venue, it does get too loud after 11 p.m.

“It gets very noisy, even in the back bedroom. The noise level was over 80 decibels and sometimes 90,” said Terese Jenkins. “The Monkey Bar and Tiki Bar stop at 11. We bought here before there was entertainment, but now they’re paying for it.”

Eugene Lajoie, a resident on Southeast 46th Street, said it’s difficult when they have guests over.

“It rattles my windows when they play and it starts early in the morning and goes on all day with the bass,” Lajoie said. “I’d like to talk to the people there when they get to be 60 or 70 and see if they can hear.”

In Council response, council members Jennifer Nelson and Jessica Cosden said they were open to revisiting the ordinance, but no date was set for such a discussion.

Jimmy Thompson, owner at Rusty’s, said he was happy that Nelson said she wanted to revisit the ordinance, and added the city permitted a business allowing entertainment outside.

“We want to make it fair for everyone who lives in the area and all the businesses. Not just us,” Thompson said, questioning why the ordinance isn’t citywide, but rather focused on Rusty’s. “It’s been good for the advertising, but not for what they’re saying. We comply. Let’s just live off the facts.”

Thompson believes many of the readings come from residents using phone decibel readers, which are inadmissible.