Compromise met on downtown Ludington music levels

April 12, 2013

LUDINGTON — A compromise has been reached on the noise stipulation of Ludington’s new outdoor dining ordinance. The ordinance allows for establishments to have outdoor dining without receiving special permission from the planning commission. The ordinance allows businesses to have outdoor dining and entertainment as long as they follow the ordinance and the guidelines established by the Downtown Ludington board.

The sticking point came at a recent meeting of city council. Some citizens raised concerns that the allowance of live or recorded outdoor music being played at a maximum level of 90 decibels measured from 20 feet. Their concern was that the 90 decibels mark was too loud.

The Building and Licenses Committee met Thursday and a change was made to the ordinance reading.
The ordinance now reads that an establishment can play live or recorded music as long as it is not in a way that disturbs the peace.

“This gives the police department some discretion to enforce this part of the zoning ordinance,” City Manager John Shay said. “We tried to merge this with some existing language in the city code.”

Nate Petersen, one of the citizens who spoke out against the previous wording, said he was pleased with the changes.

“We are all trying to work together and create an environment so that everyone downtown is successful,” Mayor John Henderson said.

City Council met in special session Friday allowing for the ordinance changes to be presented for the first time. Councilors will vote on the ordinance change at their April 22 regular meeting.

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