Monday, October 17, 2005

LPDS, Live Music, and Noise

As promised, the response from LPDS (in this case, Matt Casey) on the noise issue, specifically the live music issue. We’ve gotten a few comments about this, and of course there’s also a letter in the ABH today about it. Without further ado, here’s Matt.

I need to find some time to finish working on that FAQ's page.. I was planning on putting this up there among others. [We mentioned to Matt in our email that this might be a good question for the FAQ page on the LPDS website. Eds.]

Basically our response is that 80% - 90% of the time we will have piped in background Latin music both inside the restaurant and in the plaza to add to the ambiance and solidify the Latin concept. This music will be played at a level that will enable comfortable conversation to our guests, and not require them to have to shout over the music. On the occasions that we have live music it will primarily be kept in doors and consist of small groups of Latin artists. Again we do not envision this to be much louder then the background piped music that we will traditionally feature. We only plan on having moderate live music outdoors, and this would primarily be in the nature of a flamenco guitarist, or perhaps a traditional Peruvian flute artists
(example: http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_pages/0027-0406-0906-5320.html).


Again this would only be background in nature to add to the ambiance we would try to create.

Above all this we are working on revising the plans to possibly add a concrete wall barrier at the edge of the property, and believe that once the building[sic] that surround the plaza are complete the noise generated from the plaza will be contained for the most part.


And there you have it.

8 comments:

Fishplate said...

Well, that sounds better and better! Now, if they have a meeting with the Cedar Creek Homeowner's Association to let them know, I bet much of the opposition will melt away. Or at least the real reasons for opposition will then be exposed...now that alcohol, traffic and noise have been eliminated, what's left?

Oh, and it turns out I'm a member of this blogging thing after all. So I'm no longer Anonymous.

RandomThoughts said...

At this point I'm not sure that a meeting would be beneficial but it probably couldn't hurt anything. And maybe the real reasons will surface (NIMBY). One point that is still not clear to me: was the property originally zoned for a multiuse purpose or not? Both sides seem to have 'facts' but they differ. What is the true story?

monticello_pres said...

Most of the thoughts on this site have been well constructed and well researched. I suppose that is why it is an entertaining and credible site even for those who have opposing viewpoints. Healthy debate is, well, healthy.

Unfortunately these 2 thoughts don't qualify in that group. As for the idea that there are "real reasons" yet to be determined or to "surface", that is nice for soundbites and rallying crys but it just doesn't meet the requirements of any intellegent discussion.

The original letter to Brad Griffin (Director of A-CC Planning Department) from the CCCA Board, written in June, stated "The Cedar Creek Civic Association (C.C.C.A.) board has been asked by Matt Casey on behalf of a restaurant development group to review plans and thoughts regarding the current Cofer's building on Cedar Shoals Drive. Mr. Casey and the group are interested in placing a restaurant and other commercial developments at this site. Based on their interest in this site and the efforts of this group to gather community support for the redevelopment, we believe this response is not only appropriate but also considerate to their efforts." It continued to state "While the idea of having their restaurant on the east side is appealing, we cannot support its location at the Cofer's building on Cedar Shoals Drive. The current zoning of this location as well as the zoning of the Cedar Shoals Drive corridor is certainly foremost among our concerns." It further stated "Also, the existing development of new and available commercial space elsewhere in the area – appropriately zoned – is pertinent to our decision." It concluded by stating "Again, we sincerely appreciate this group’s interest in having community support of this requested redevelopment. And we hope they find a suitable home for their restaurant and development on the east side. But our concerns are unanimous among the C.C.C.A. board and prohibit our support."

This letter went to Brad Griffin because the LPDS group went forward with their politics without discussing their plans with the CCCA directly. All correspondance at this time had been through a 3rd party and indicated an interest only. The report was that they were looking for support to consider this site. They then made the first move and forced this letter to Mr. Griffin.

As for a semi-related subject, the magically appearing criticsm of the credibility of the petition, this is also good for soundbites and rallying crys but not credible for real discussions of the topic. Here is the actual wording from the petition which was carried and organized by a group of diverse Cedar Creek residents but which has spread outside the neighborhood as well. "By signing, I state my opposition to another rezoning of the currently vacant Cofer’s property on Cedar Shoals Dr. I am opposed to the creation of a C-N zone for the Cofer’s property thus allowing a restaurant with alcohol sales and live music on site.
The rezoning, which would be a “spot” rezoning and increase the commercial nature of a segment of this residential/light commercial corridor, is simply inappropriate for this location. This is especially true based on the amount of appropriately zoned property available in the area."

In no place does this mention a nightclub and in no way does it try to confuse the person signing. These have been points made by LPDS or their supporters recently. Hogwash.

It's also worth noting that the following was included in the July CCCA newsletter in a section on the front page titled "PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE":
"The next CCCA Board Meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 8 at 6:30 at 235 Ponderosa Dr. We want residents of Cedar Creek to always be aware that these meetings are not exclusively for officers and committee chairs. We always welcome attendance from residents and welcome new ideas and opinions. We would especially appreciate any with regards to a letter sent to Mr. Brad Griffin. A copy of this letter, regarding a proposed development at the old Cofers location on Cedar Shoals Drive, is included in this newsletter."

A similar reminder of the upcoming board meeting time and place is included in each of the monthly CCCA newsletters. No opposition appeared at this meeting nor at any other meeting regarding this. And, for more facts, it is reported that fewer than 50 local persons (out of 900+ signatures) went on record stating that they supported the rezoning. Those opinions were respected by most (I wish I could say all) and their names were kept so that future solicitations did not bother them. The petition organizers also kept track of a dozen or so persons who stated that they didn't know enough to sign or that they just didn't sign petitions. As you might imagine, the petition was extremely organized and efficient in order to manage this type of detail.

I hope this information helps those of you who are actually listening to the facts on both sides of the debate. For the fringe fanatical which exist on both sides of this (and any) debate, discussion is moot. I understand that. But for those that really do care about the issue and really are interested in knowing the facts, they are available. A few phone calls create an amazing amount of research. I suppose Blake Aued, Don Nelson, or the rest of the folks who are just intrinsically knowledgable about the inner workings of the CCCA don't need to do this. That is too bad.

As always, thanks for the place to air our thoughts. This forum has become a timely and opportune spot for debate of this issue - and others.

RandomThoughts said...

Thank you for presenting your side of the agrument with factual information to support it. I may not change my mind but I assure you I will certainly give your post some serious thought. I'm still unsure of the zoning differences but a side issue that I find interesting is whether or not a denial of rezoning is reasoable if other, currently correctly zoned property is available in the same general area.

AbreLaPuerta said...

In an attempt to return this discussion to a healthy debate…. I feel I have to comment on a couple of statements made by Monticello_pres (I really appreciate your rational viewpoints on this topic, and find it refreshing to see all this health brought into this debate).


This letter went to Brad Griffin because the LPDS group went forward with their politics without discussing their plans with the CCCA directly. All correspondence at this time had been through a 3rd party and indicated an interest only. The report was that they were looking for support to consider this site. They then made the first move and forced this letter to Mr. Griffin.


We only went forward with our plans to hold the community presentations (I assume that is what is meant by “their politics”) after not hearing back from Mr. McCarter as to when we could present our plans to the CCCA and other area boards. We learned that there was another board meeting held that we were not invited to (I believe sometime in late May or early June). On June 17th I was contacted by Mr. McCarter and informed that the CCCA had taken a position on our plans and wanted to send us a letter. I then asked him how they could have taken a position without knowing the details of the plans. I understand that Mr. McCarter indicated that he had given us every opportunity to present, and that we just did not follow up on his invitation. However this just is not the case, as he never once informed us of a date or time to do so (thus, the beginning of the “Great Divide”). Furthermore, at the completion of both meetings we had with the Mr. Dodson and Mr. McCarter we were told that we would be informed of when a community meeting could be arranged. We only heard back that our plans were not being received very well, and it didn’t look like we should proceed on that site. In all fairness, we did not pursue the follow up after our first meeting, as we were advised by Brad Griffen at the planning department to only go to the public once we had more definitive plans (up until that point all we had was our first conceptual document). This was a major undertaking that required an extreme amount of work. By the time we had our second meeting in May we were in a position to present our actual plans, and expressed this to both commissioners. Now this brings us back to where I begin this paragraph.

Our first Community Meeting was held on June 26th – 9 days after I was informed that CCCA had taken a formal position on this rezoning request. I believe it is unfortunate as to how these series of events took place, but honestly feel that we did everything possible to bring our plans to the residents in the area in an open forum.


The rezoning, which would be a "spot" rezoning and increase the commercial nature of a segment of this residential/light commercial corridor, is simply inappropriate for this location. This is especially true based on the amount of appropriately zoned property available in the area.


According to ACC Planning department this is NOT A SPOT REZONE, but actually the first step in the right direction to clean up what is already a Spot zoning situation. The CN zoning is completely in compliance with the long term land use plan. I really struggle with the argument that this area was never intended to be commercial. We feel that we did everything we were supposed to, and only pursued the site after learning that it was compatible.


In no place does this mention a nightclub and in no way does it try to confuse the person signing. These have been points made by LPDS or their supporters recently. Hogwash.


I can only tell you what many Cedar creek residents have conveyed to us over the past couple of weeks. (at least 15 or so that were compelled to sign the opposing petition). Several staff members at Morningside, and residents from all over East Athens have very similar and sometimes shocking stories. I am not saying that every resident was forced into signing this petition, and I understand that many rational East Siders have viable concerns. However, I do feel that for the most part what is being verbally communicated by the opposition is not being done in a fair and non biased manner (regardless of what is written on the piece of paper that is being signed). All we can do is work to address those valid concerns that we share together, and try to clear up the misconceptions that have spread.
Thank you for your insightful posts, and I really hope we can one day see eye to eye through the DOOR! [or at least leave you with a comfort level that we strongly desire to be a part of your community and good neighbor] - Matt

AbreLaPuerta said...

One more thing in regards to the underlying issue regarding noise generated from this site... Above and beyond what our intentions are, in regards to how we operate the business, is the fact that we will be required by law to comply with the county noise ordinance (below). I believe this is the basis of why the perceived noise that will be generated is really a non-issue. Having said that, we want to make sure that it is known that we understand this is a sensitive topic. We plan to do everything possible to remain in compliance with this ordinance, and are currently working on ways that we can ensure this. -Matt


Noise Ordinance (Section 3-5-24)
• Noise includes mechanical sound-making devices, human-produced
sounds, commercial advertising, and party noise.
• Generally, noise is prohibited if it is audible 300 feet from property line
on Sundays-Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. and on Fridays
and Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. - midnight.
• Noise is prohibited if it is audible 100 feet from the property line
Sundays-Thursdays from 11:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m. and on Saturday and
Sunday mornings from midnight - 7:00 a.m.
• Car stereos cannot be audible 100 feet away during any time.
• To report a problem, call the ACC Police Department at 613-3330 or
911 after business hours.
• If possible, be available to speak with a responding officer via phone.
• Noise cannot be plainly audible at five feet (5’) beyond the adjoining
property line wall or boundary of any apartment, condominium, duplex,
or other residential dwelling units with adjoining points of contact.
• Landscape maintenance devices (leaf blowers, lawn mowers, etc.) in
or within 300 feet of any residential zoning district cannot be used from
8:00 p.m. - 8:00 a.m. In the AR zone, no person shall operate any such
devices within 300 feet of any residential dwelling on adjacent property
between 9:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.

RandomThoughts said...

This brings new information to light. I know from personal experience that petitions I have been asked to sign only contain bare bones of the issue and more information is given verbally. I realize the association cannot control what members say. I would like to know if an invitation to present was ever sent. Wouldn't it be a hoot if this whole thing centered around an invitation lost in the mail?

Anonymous said...

Please pass the proyect.thanks