New Buffalo may see outdoor music ban

One Michigan town could be looking at a new noise ordinance after a dispute between several local establishments.

After a summer of outdoor concerts in New Buffalo, MI, a local inn has had enough and claims it's guests are being affected.

Mark Traill, the owner of the Lake Country Inn says he tried communicating with Casey's Bar and Grill about the noise concerns, but did not see any change. He says he had no choice but to contact the city for help. Now, the city's planning commission is recommending a ban on all outdoor music.

But, Traill says he looked into current city ordinances and there is already a ban on outdoor music, so any action would be an enforcement of current policy.

Newscenter 16 also spoke with Tom Jennings, owner of Casey's Bar and Grill about his concerns. He says, "It's ludicrous, to ban outdoor music. Next thing, they'll ban fireworks because they make noise and draw a big crowd. Without out of town guests, none of the businesses down here, not just Caseys, but many of the restaurants and other businesses are not viable."

Ultimately, the city council will make a final decision, and that vote could come at Tuesday's meeting. But both men say it's not likely since the issue is not pressing. These music concerns are only during the summer months. For now, fall is underway and music won't be on anyone's mind.

Both men claim they want compromise. Traill says stricter time limits and volume control would satisfy he and his residential neighbors. Jennings says he fears New Buffalo, which depends heavily on tourism, will suffer without concerts and other attractions that draw guests. He says time constraints will be too tough to abide by, instead he would rather see volume limits.

A vote may come at Tuesday's city commission meeting. But, both Traill and Jennings say they hope a decision is made before next summer.

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