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Council tunes out complaints, grants pub noise exemption

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Troy Shantz
Despite complaints from neighbours, Paddy Flaherty’s Irish Pub has been granted a two-year noise bylaw exemption for bands playing its outdoor stage on Sarnia Bay.

The exemption permits amplified live music until midnight on Friday and Saturday evenings, from June 1 to Sept. 15.

An additional exemption was granted for Sunday, June 30 to accommodate a gig by Canadian alternative rock band Bedouin Soundclash.

Co-owner Angelyn Smolders, who books about 50 acts a year for the Seaway Road restaurant, had requested a three-year waiver but was pleased by council’s co-operation.

“Where else can you get an outdoor show every weekend?” she asked. “Some people would just be walking by and hear this music and they come in. It’s great.”

Loud entertainment in summer near Centennial Park has long been a flashpoint for the residents of apartment and condo towers on Front Street.

In response to Paddy’s request, 14 tenants of the Water’s Edge building sent a petition to the city opposing the restaurant’s application. Another objection was received by phone.

“Residents of this area have made significant sacrifices in regard to very loud late night entertainment on Centennial Park property, and should not be asked to endure significantly more,” one resident said.

Paddy’s, which has hosted The Sadies, Five Alarm Funk, The Sheepdogs and Sloan among other acts, opened the outdoor stage in 2014.

It was initially granted limited noise exemptions but last year received a one-year blanket waiver.

That was a big success, Smolders said, adding the two-year permit will save her business time, paperwork and the cumbersome process of applying.

Before council voted, Coun. Terry Burrell had sought a one-year exemption to ensure noise from the patio is monitored and the neighbours kept happy.

“I do think it’s really important to keep an eye on it,” he said.

Smolders said she’s aware of prior complaints.

Getting piece-meal exemptions required the business to notify neighbours within 400 metres when a concert was scheduled. But the apartment towers across the bay are well outside that distance, she said.

“They live far enough away they shouldn’t be able to complain,” she said. “I did the math.”

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