By: Benjamin J. Gohs, Associate Editor
A new Boyne City business owner said he is facing complaints about his new business before he has even opened the doors. [private]The 220 Lake St. property owner Patrick Schaller, who plans to open this spring serving American cuisine as Cooper’s Pub & Grill, is already hearing concerns from at least one neighboring property owner about potential noise levels “From my understanding, it’s related to an old conflict of thought, between the former restaurant (220 Lake St. Food & Spirits) and a neighbor,” Schaller said.
“Hopefully this focus of noise concerns related to my new business is not solely because of the former conflict, otherwise I feel like I’m being discriminated by association.”
One property neighbor has made his concerns about Schaller’s business public during the Jan. 11 Boyne City Commission meeting. “I think it’s great what you’re doing. I think it’s going to be a real plus for the town. My concern, of course, is as you know we have had some significant noise issues where we live which is right next door to the 200 Lake Street property over the last three years,” said John McCan. “I don’t know if Mr. Schaller is going to continue the night club operation. But, when the night club was in operation we had just tremendous noise and our living quarters at that time were 50 to 100 feet away from the wall of the night club.” He added, “For this facility I would just ask you to look into any potential noise issues because this facility is 10 to 15 feet away from our living area.”
Schaller said it is normal for businesses to make noise during the course of operation. “That’s what we call job creation and commerce,” he said. “Do the downtown festivals make noise? Do the fair rides at the Mushroom Festival make noise? These traditional Boyne City festivals could be negatively affected by a noise ordinance revision.” Schaller added, “I’m not breaking a law by opening and operating a restaurant/pub, so I have no legal responsibility to mitigate with neighbors. The 220 South Lake Street address has been a restaurant/bar location for decades, and the theater has been there for a century.”
McCan said he got the impression that Schaller’s new business venture was going to be entertaining much lower volume activities than the business before him. Schaller said his focus right now is opening his restaurant and pub and running them reputably. “When someone has sound sensitivity, then they should not move next to an established restaurant, bar, or theater,” he said. “If you move next to an airport, you cannot expect the airport to move, or expect the planes to put on mufflers.” McCan asked Schaller to investigate ways to lower any potential noise from his new establishment.
Schaller said he is concerned about the possibility of citizens attempting to pass legislation to change acceptable sound levels in the business district. “(It) seems to be only directed towards my future business, and only because they may have had issues with the former business. It feels like discrimination by association,” Schaller said. “New legislation could also negatively affect other businesses and festivals.” Schaller said he will be a good neighbor and citizen, and follow the laws accordingly. “But, under no circumstances will I allow myself, or my business, to be bullied.”[/private]