The clash between a Fort Pierce cidery and its neighbors over the Edgartown noise ordinance is expected to continue at the next City Commission meeting.
Pierced Ciderworks, the Treasure Coast’s first and only cidery, is urging its supporters to show up and speak out during the public comment period at the end of the meeting that’s scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, said owner Jon Nolli.
He and neighbor Holly Theuns had been trying to find a compromise about the acoustic-only noise ordinance for a year and a half before Nolli pushed the issue in April.
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That’s when he allowed live amplified music at the venue, triggering Theuns to call the police. The cidery’s supporters urged the City Commission to change Edgartown’s noise ordinance to allow live amplified music.
“It’s been five months now,” Nolli told TCPalm this week. “That’s why we’re just kind of a little fed up.”
Nolli said whenever he asked city officials for an update, they told him the issue wasn’t on the City Commission agenda, so he sought legal advice.
“I don’t want to sue the city,” Nolli said. “I’m just trying to get it taken care of.”
Edgartown noise ordinance
Nolli’s lawyer contacted the city and found a draft to the Edgartown Settlement Zoning District had been written, he said.
It includes two revisions to the noise ordinance that would mirror the rest of the city in terms of volume, but with one difference: Edgartown’s music must stop at 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. like the rest of the city.
“I’m super happy that they did it,” Nolli said. “I agree with it. I think it’s fair for both sides.”
However, his neighbor doesn’t agree. After Theuns learned about the draft through Pierced Ciderworks’ Facebook post, she emailed city commissioners.
Theuns said the city’s noise ordinance isn’t an acceptable solution to protecting the existing urban residential neighborhood from incompatible commercial uses.
“I basically hate it,” Theuns told TCPalm. “The original zoning was done to protect our residential historic neighborhood, and this proposed change doesn’t do that.”
The city’s noise ordinance would allow the cidery to play music for 10-12 hours each day, seven days a week, at just below 60 decibels, she wrote.
According to the current Edgartown ordinance, as well as the draft, commercial uses can’t cause adverse impacts to adjacent properties regarding persistent light, odor, vibration, noise or visual blight.
She’s asking for stricter rules than the city’s noise ordinance regarding duration of noise, days and times noise is allowed and decibel level.
“That will allow the residential neighborhood the quiet enjoyment of their homes and honor the intended purpose of this historic zoning district,” Theuns wrote.
Tipsy Tiki plays live amplified music
Theuns said she’s not the only Edgartown resident unhappy with the noise ordinance, but some of her neighbors don’t want to speak publicly because of the backlash she’s received.
“People pee in my yard and have their dogs poop in my yard and yell at my house when they walk by on the way to the bar,” Theuns said. “It’s just juvenile and petty.”
In the meantime, Nolli bought Tipsy Tiki in June to stay relevant in the local music scene. It’s less than a half-mile north on Second Street, just north of Seaway Drive.
Many of the cidery’s customers seeking live music have been going there, he said. He’s had to get creative at Pierced Ciderworks, such as hosting silent discos. He estimated bringing music back to the cidery would boost sales by between 40% and 50%.
“We’re doing OK,” Nolli said, “but it’s definitely not the vibe and the feel that we had built up over the last four and a half years.”