Outdoor Music Okay Until 1 AM At Courtyard Restaurant in Cataumet
By: Diana T. Barth
Kelly M. Morley, the Cataumet resident who led the 2008 effort to curtail the hours and types of music allowed to be played at the Courtyard Restaurant’s outdoor patio, came before selectmen this week hoping that restrictions could be returned to that establishment’s entertainment license.
Selectmen voted 3-1, however, with Selectman John A. Ford Jr. casting the lone opposing vote, not to hold a hearing on the entertainment license.
When that license was renewed last November as part of a wholesale renewal of the licenses for a number of similar town businesses, board members did not specifically note that the former restrictions on the license were missing, Mr. Ford said.
The license was renewed at that time, without restrictions. Mr. Ford noted that Town Administrator Thomas M. Guerino had brought up the change after selectmen had voted at that meeting, but the board did not go back and reconsider the matter.
That means that this year, the restaurant owners can legally provide entertainment, inside and out, until 1 AM.
In 2008, after five hearings on the subject of noise, selectmen voted to incorporate a memorandum of agreement between the board and the Courtyard into its entertainment license. That agreement allowed outside music between 11 AM and midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 AM to 12:30 AM on Friday and Saturday nights. However, no percussion or bass instruments could be played outside. Music was allowed, for example, from a singer accompanied by an acoustic guitar.
Ms. Morley came before the board this week to say that on multiple occasions last summer, when those restrictions were still in place, the music lasted after the time at which outdoor music was to cease. Ms. Morley also noted that last summer’s use of a deejay on the patio also violated the restriction, as the carrying quality of that music was far greater than that of the allowable guitar playing and similar music.
After Ms. Morley spoke, Police Chief Dennis R. Woodside said that other than the deejay incident, which he described as a “misunderstanding” over what was allowable, there had been no substantiated complaints of noise involving the Courtyard.
Ms. Morley, however, said she had not only complained to police, as had been suggested at the 2008 hearings, but e-mailed Town Administrator Thomas M. Guerino while the music was still audible, providing a record of the disturbances.
She said that she looked at establishments like Dino’s in Mashpee, which has a 10:15 PM limit on outdoor noise, and the Melody Tent in Hyannis, with its 11:15 PM limit. She said no other town allowed outdoor noise until 1 AM in a residential neighborhood. Even Gillette Stadium in Foxborough has an 11:15 PM restriction, she said.
Chief Woodside said it was his understanding that the Courtyard had no intention of allowing music outside until 1 o’clock in the morning. Mr. Ford said that, in that case, the establishment should not object to continuing restrictions.
Selectman Earl V. Baldwin said he would consider calling for a new license hearing if there was another violation. The majority of the board agreed.
With the unlimited license, music would have to be audible outside after 1 AM in order to violate the license’s provisions.
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