Winthrop is hardly a raucous place, but it doesn’t take much nighttime noise to get residents’ attention.
The noise issue was raised again at last week’s Town Council meeting by Mayor Sally Ranzau, who cited recent complaints about live music at the Copper Glance bar/bistro on Riverside Avenue, notably after 10 p.m. Ranzau said that problems can arise when live music is being played outdoors at any downtown venue.
Winthrop’s municipal code describes a “public disturbance noise” as “Loud and raucous, or frequent, repetitive, or continuous sounds created by musical instruments, audio sound systems, band sessions, or other devices capable of producing, amplifying, or reproducing sounds which unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort, and repose of another and can be clearly heard by a person of normal hearing at a distance of one hundred (100) feet or more from the property from which the sound originates.” The provision doesn’t apply to regularly scheduled outdoor events at parks.
Ranzau said she heard the music and “I live way more than 100 feet away.”
“We have to think about the people who live here,” said Ranzau.
Town Marshal Doug Johnson said he talked to the people at Copper Glance but did not issue a citation. He added that Copper Glance is not the only venue that could be reviewed. “The issue we have is enforcing the 100-foot rule … There are a number of businesses that violate it. If we cite one, we have to cite them all,” he said.
Council member Bill McAdow noted that “there is some expectation that a bar might be noisy until 10 p.m.”
Ranzau said she would like to review the town’s existing ordinances. “It’s a matter of enforcement or making adjustments,” she said. “I would like to look into it.” The matter will be on a future council agenda.
In other business, the council agreed to appoint Lynn Northcott to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee representing the Winthrop Barn. The eight-member group, which makes recommendations about how to spend lodging tax revenues collected in the town, is chaired by Council Member William Kilby.
The council, staff and other invited guests also celebrated Town Clerk Michelle Gaines’ 30 years of service to the town at a reception before the council meeting.