Community and business owners gave mixed feedback on a proposal to end a ban on live music in restaurants and cafes in the South Main Preservation District.
Live music is permitted in other places on South Main Street, from to . But the city's zoning codes have long prohibited live music in restaurants, cafes and cafeterias located on South Main Street between Madison and Barbour Street.
Residents spoke out against the change, including Leann Starr, of 1155 Jackson Street. "Would you want to live next to a restaurant with live music where the traffic exceeds the parking spaces?" she asked.
Gryf Ketcherside, who lives at 401 South Second Street, said allowing music on South Main Street would put it within earshot of his home.
"With the proposal to bring the live music and alcohol to Main Street concerns us a great deal, because of what it's done -- not necessarily to North Main Street-- but because we've seen the shrapnel affect of cars driven by drunk drivers," he said.
Dan Borgmeyer is a business owner who has bought several properties on South Main Street, including property on which he intends to build condos. He said the other night he heard music outside and realized it was coming from , which is close to where his condos would be built.
"Now I'm thinking, if I'm going to build 13 or 14 condos, how hard is it going to be to rent them?" he said.
Other people said the change would erode further what so many preservationists have worked hard to protect on South Main -- the balance of business and residential homes.
Harry Sneed, who lives at 510 South Main, said he'd welcome live music on South Main. He said a lot of people had spoken about the possible increase in drunken behavior on South Main, but Sneed accepts that he may have broken windows and other vandalism as part of living on South Main.
"It's part of the package of living down here," he said. "I hear people coming from North Main at 2 a.m., drunk and yelling and stuff. That's part of what I have to deal with because that's what goes on. I would have no problem opening my windows and listening to music as long as it's at a certain level and stops at a certain time."
Alice and Don Stoviak, owners of on South Main, said they'd like an opportunity to have live music.
"We're closed and out of there by 11 p.m. We are not a night time business that's going to affect anybody," Alice Stoviak said.
What do you think? Should live music be allowed at restaurants in the South Main Preservation District?