John Wegeng, the owner of Caddyshack Bar and Grill stood up to speak at last week's Board of Aldermen meeting March 28.
"Two weeks ago, the board had a discussion about my bar. They wanted my permit and liquor license pulled. But in the last three years, I've had zero violations," Wegeng said.
"If I’ve done something wrong, then so be it. But I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve tried to be a good neighbor to these people."
Wegeng was referring to the previous Board of Aldermen meeting, when Ken Davis, president of the Heritage Pointe Home Owners Association, spoke about his concerns about the noise and music from Caddyshack and requesting that something be done about it.
During that night's board discussion, Ward 2 Alderman Vann Sample recommended that Caddyshack's conditional use permit be revoked until the owner came up with a plan to resolve the issue. When Ward 1 Aldermen Leon Tow and Ward 2 Aldermen Chris Gard asked if the city had any way to measure the noise levels and know for sure that the law was being broken, Sample recommended that the city purchase equipment that could measure noise levels.
The board resumed the discussion at the March 28 meeting.
Chief of Police Lisa Harrison told the board that there are decibel standards for noise levels, but she did not recommend purchasing meters. The initial cost of the meters was not the issue, she said, but training and ongoing caibration of the devices would be a problem.
The city code currently requires a buffer between businesses like Caddyshack and neighboring residences, and Caddyshack does have such a buffer, Community Development Director Doug Forbeck said. City code also states that a concerned resident can hire a professional to measure noise levels. If the measurements show that the resident's concerns are warranted, the costs can be assessed to the offender.
"I have a fundamental issue with asking residents to police the noise. It should not be the residents’ obligation," Gard said. "We’re not going to be able to solve this problem until we get the equipment. We need to start the process."
With several aldermen in agreement with Gard, the board decided that it will go forward with the purchase of sound meters.