Parker Town Council approved changes to the town's noise ordinance to allow for commercial businesses to use outdoor loudspeakers and public address systems between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. …
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Parker Town Council approved changes to the town's noise ordinance to allow for commercial businesses to use outdoor loudspeakers and public address systems between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
The ordinance is effective immediately. Council passed the ordinance Sept. 3, approved unainimous aside from Renee Williams, who was absent.
The original noise ordinance permitted outdoor loudspeakers for non-commercial use only. The amended ordinance includes permission for commercial use of outdoor loudspeakers as well, allowing for outdoor bars and restaurants to play outdoor music and setting the stage for Bluetooth speakers that could be installed downtown.
Mayor Mike Waid responded via email to Colorado Community Media, stating the change in the ordinance was routine to make sure the law is relevant and timely with the current state of Parker.
“There are times where a law which has been on the books for some time suddenly becomes relevant or because of some external change, now it becomes irrelevant,” Waid wrote. “With the changing times and more desire from our citizens for outdoor events and activities, the noise ordinance has become on top of council's mind.”
Council directed town staff to draft the ordinance following a discussion in an Aug. 12 study session debating how to reconcile the difference between the residential and commercial noise ordinance.
The discussion was brought up by councilmembers in response to multiple complaints council received from the Tailgate Tavern and Grill in early August. The Tailgate Tavern was on the verge of being cited by police because of noise complaints and faced a maximum $500 fine. The restaurant ownership often hosts live outdoor concerts on the patio.
The Tailgate Tavern and Grill, at 191552 E Mainstreet, has recevied six noise complaints since June 28, according to Parker Police Department records, two of which occurred past 10 p.m. The restaurant received three complaints within an 11-day span in late July and early August.
A memo from the Aug. 12 city council study session suggets permitting activities at the Tailgate were the chief reason for considering a change to the ordinance.
Tailgate Tavern owner John Jordan could not be reached for comments after multiple attempts. A Tailgate worker named Kyle said the subject was "touchy" to Jordan.
Some nearby municipalities use distance and decibel levels to determine a noise ordinance violation, which was considered in the Aug. 12 discussion. Waid said enforcing a decibel level or distance ordinance would be difficult based on inherent variables that could affect the noise level, like wind direction.
Shelli Mango, president of the Downtown Business Alliance, said most bars and restaurants on Mainstreet were likely not compliant with the ordinance in the first place, and nobody noticed until recently.
“It became very apparent town council needed to basically re-write this,” Mango said. “No one really realized it was against all the rules to play outdoor music.”
The DBA partners with the town and other entities to attract people to downtown Parker. One of the DBA's major wish-list projects is to install Bluetooth speakers on some of the iconic globe lights downtown for better audio quality for events such as the Christmas Carriage Parade and Parker Days. Mango said she is meeting with the public works department in one week to discuss the project. The DBA would buy the speakers and the town would facilitate installing them.
Mango said there also may be the possibility of playing light music throughout town on a regular basis.
“We're excited about that feature because we think it will engage more of our residents,” Mango said.
The town also hosts several outdoor concerts and partners for events like the Parker Farmer's Market and Parker Days, neither of which were in violation to the noise ordinance.
Waid said the noise ordinance was not a knee jerk reaction, but said the need for a change became apparent once there was an issue.
"That's the way public policy and laws should be written — direct input of 'This is how it directly affects me,'" Waid said after a Sept. 9 study session. "'What are we hoping to accomplish?' 'What kinds of freedoms are we trying to maintain while maintaining a high quality community?'"
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