Also: Residents complain of trash on Harvard Beach approach.
Outdoor music was recommended for the Beach Bucket, 867 S. Atlantic Ave., on July 10 by the Planning Board, despite objections from a nearby condominium. Music at the restaurant had been stopped in May because the business did not have a permit.
The Planning Board is a citizen’s advisory committee for the City Commission and the commissioners will make a final decision at an upcoming meeting, tentatively set for Aug. 6.
After the Beach Bucket recently requested a permit, the Planning Department conducted sound tests at the boundary lines of the restaurant and notified neighbors that a permit for music was being considered.
The Planning Department received a letter from the Aliki Atrium condo association objecting to giving a permit to the Beach Bucket. It was complaints from the condo’s residents in May that alerted Code Enforcement that the restaurant was playing music.
The letter stated, in part, “We do not want to spend the rest of our retirement years annoyed by Beach Front live music day and night.”
At the meeting, Scott Studner, Beach Bucket owner, said the speaker for the music has been moved to eliminate the problem. It is now against the building, he said, and pointed out to sea. Previously, it was on a platform near the beach.
“We want to be good neighbors,” he said.
He said he wants his patrons to be able to talk over the music, and also pointed out that he closes at 9 p.m. “Nothing that happens with alcohol after 9 p.m. is good,” he said.
He also said he has no signage on the street and does not seek the tourism market.
“The Beach Bucket was designed for the locals,” he said.
The sound test taken by the Planning Department showed the sound was within the acceptable limits of 65 decibels. The department recommended approval, with the conditions that that no more than two live performers be allowed, and if there are two violations of the code in any continuous 12-month period, a special magistrate will have the authority to remove the permit.
The Planning Board voted to recommend approval to the City Commission.
Another matter came up at the Planning Board meeting when a resident complained of trash on the Harvard Approach, located next to the Beach Bucket.
Charlie Wilkes said he has surfed at the Harvard Beach approach for 50 years, and now the parking spaces are always taken and there is trash, including broken beer bottles, on the approach.
“The approaches are important,” he said. “You need a four-wheel drive to drive on the beach.”
He said restaurants that have customers parking on the approach should be responsible for cleaning it up.
Studner replied that his customers did not carry anything from the restaurant to the approach, and that the approach was overflow parking from Seabreeze High School. He said the trash was left by students.
“I object to people saying it’s my customers,” he said.
Planning Director Rick Goss said he would pass along the concerns to City Manager Joyce Shanahan who would contact the county. Beach approach maintenance is the responsibility of Volusia County.
The Beach Bucket did not get its request approved to start playing music at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Other restaurants that have outdoor music are allowed 4-8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Planning Board decided to keep the hours consistent among all restaurants to avoid confusion from having several different regulations.
Board member Doug Wigley was the only “no” vote on the recommendation, saying he believed the Beach Bucket should be allowed to have different hours.