The Carrabelle city commission said a local pub has broken no laws with weekend entertainment.
On Jan. 9, Ted Brodley, owner of a vacation home in the Pirate’s Landing development on Timber Island, appeared before the Carrabelle commission to complain about noise from the Fish Camp Restaurant adjacent to his condominium.
Brodley said he has owned his Pirates Landing condominium since 2010 and fished in the area since 1999. He told commissioners the restaurant plays loud music until after 1 a.m. on weekend nights.
“It’s pretty unbearable. My air conditioning vents vibrate because the bass is so loud,” he said.
Brodley said a number of tenants had complained to the manager about the noise, and even called the police, but nothing had been done to solve the problem.
Police Chief Craig Kincaid said the only record he could find of a complaint to the Carrabelle police was one made by Brodley.
“When you purchased your unit you didn’t realize there was a restaurant and bar there? It’s been a bar for 30 years.” Commissioner Charlotte Schneider asked Brodley.
Brodley said the restaurant did not host live entertainment when he purchased his condominium.
“Sometimes when there’s loud music at night, we get aggravated,” Schneider said. “We have so few jobs in this community and we need the income from that business. They employ people, single mothers and fathers. They are licensed. They pay their taxes. I don’t understand what you think the city of Carrabelle can do for you.
This week you complain about the bands, next week you’ll tell me I can’t crank up my boat and go fishing early in the morning,” she said.
Schneider then read a letter she said was from other condominium owners in Pirate’s Landing supporting the Fish Camp.
Brodley said the loud music affected his property values.
“I had a friend come down for spring break who was a potential buyer, (but) after he spent four nights there, he was not a potential buyer,” he said. “The point I’m making is that there has to be some sort of middle ground between people who want a rest component and playing loud music until 1 a.m.”
Commissioner Brenda La Paz said she understood Brodley’s complaint but said, “When you are in a mixed use area, you are going to have a component of noise.”
She said alcohol can legally be served in Carrabelle between 7 a.m. and midnight on weekdays, and between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and most legal holidays.
La Paz said she believed a business licensed to serve alcohol and provide entertainment would be able to provide entertainment anytime alcohol was legally being served. She said the manager of the Fish Camp agreed there were complaints and said he would shut down earlier on weekdays.
“You bought on top of (the Fish Camp). You are right next door,” Commissioner Olivia Massey said. “The Fish Camp employs a lot of people.”
Commissioner Frank Mathes took a lighthearted approach. “My idea is to get a bottle and join them,” he said.
Economic Development Council Director David Butler said the problem showed the business district needed to be better defined in Carrabelle.
He said the original owners of the building housing the Fish Camp operated a restaurant, but not a bar, and the current owners had been forced to add entertainment to stay in business. He said they were within their rights.
Butler said the problem could have been avoided with better planning before the condominiums were built.