Fernandina restaurant owner fighting noise ordinance after fined over live music

The owner of Patio Place plans to fight a noise ordinance that prevents live music

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -The Fernandina Beach City Commission has instituted a noise ordinance that some feel is vague and unevenly enforced. 
 
 
Petroy, the owner of Patio Place, posted her decision on Facebook.
 
"I can't afford to have another ticket because there is no warning," she said.  
 
Petroy said this week she was fined $250 for violating the city's noise ordinance.
 
It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. She said all year it has been a back and forth with the city and police over what constitutes a violation of the law.
 
"For now there will be no more music," she said, "I can't afford for the police to walk in and give me a thousand dollar ticket."
 
Petroy said the city's noise ordinance states if the music can be heard 100 feet from the restaurant, it is a violation. There is no sound standard to violate, it is complaint driven.
 
"The city has got an ordinance that is vague and it is subjective," she said.
 
She also said it is not being enforced fairly because there are other venues in the downtown area that are never fined.
 
"It is affecting my livelihood," she said. "My customers and I am being harassed."
 
Steve Carver, a retired high school coach, lives a few feet from her restaurant.
 
"The music comes right down there, right here,' he said.
 
He said the noise comes to his front door, so he has complained to police about the music at the Patio Place. 
 
"It is bad enough I can hear it in my house, in my bedroom" he said.
 
Carver admits it is not always loud, but whenever it is, he will call the police.
 
"When it is loud and comes into my house I am going to call," he said.
 
Carver said he suggested to Petroy she should build a sound wall or turn the bands in a different direction.
 
"I want the music turned down so it doesn't penetrate my house," he said.
 
Petroy said yes, the two had a conversation, but those suggestions were never made to her.
 
She said all she wants to do is be a good neighbor and operate her business.
 
"It is not right. It is not fair, I am looking for a lawyer," Petroy said.
 
We reached out to the City Manager Dale Martin and the Mayor Robin Lentz for comment so far no response from either.
 

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