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‘Things are falling inside of our house’: Belleview bar music troubles neighbors

By Bryce Abshier – Contact

(Thoughts? Submit a letter to the editor here.)

A few Belleview residents again voiced their discontent with local bar noise at a recent Belleview City Commission meeting. During her allotted three-minute speaking time, one Belleview resident of SE 110th Lane explained that the bass coming from nearby bars is causing problems inside of her home.

The bars in question, located in a plaza on Highway C-25, are Opus Bar and Billiards and Tropical Vibes Restaurant and Bar (the former location of Cal’s Place).

According to the resident, 14 noise complaints were made with Belleview Police in the month December, and six of those complaints came from her household. However, the woman said that complaints could have been made much more often. “We do not make complaints unless things are breaking or falling inside of our house,” she said. “These six calls do not mean that we do not have issues every night from these places, because we do,” she explained to the commission. “We just know the police will not do anything.”

“My house should not sound like the inside of a bar,” she went on. “That is their job to make sure that the noise is contained to their own property. We are forced to leave our home many times due to the noise and vibrations.” The noise-troubled resident suggested techniques that could be employed by the businesses to better mitigate noise levels, like sound-proofing their building with bass catchers.

Belleview Police Chief Terry Holland explained that complaints of a similar nature had been made about a year prior at a commission meeting. After those initial complaints, Holland said “I directed my staff to do routine checks, walk to the back of their property, document noise levels and they forbade us from coming on their property.”

Chief Holland then explained other challenges he faced with this matter. “I’ve got the bar owner complaining that we’re harassing them by going in their parking lot now. It’s a delicate balance,” he said.

Commissioner Bo Smith, while addressing the citizen, wondered why audience members were only allowed three minutes to speak at commission meetings. “Why do we allow people three minutes? I personally would like to give more time. She was going as fast as she could to meet that time. I don’t think it is fair to the public.”

“We can make the limit a little longer,” answered Belleview Mayor Christine Dobkowski, who offered an explanation for the time limit. “We just had some people in the last year that would come speak for 15, 20 minutes at each meeting.”

Another noise-troubled Belleview resident of SE 110th Lane, who has resided in Belleview for 25 years, said that she has called the police numerous times over the course of her residency. According to this resident, while before it was only one bar (Opus Bar and Billiards) that caused noise issues at her home, problems have compounded by the newly opened Tropical Vibes Restaurant and Bar.

“It’s so loud, that I’m in my bedroom, and I can hear that music from both of those bars until 2:00 in the morning,” she explained.

City officials could not offer an immediate solution but vowed to work on the issue in the coming weeks.

“The way Ocala works it, so many calls, they become a nuisance and if it doesn’t stop, they shut the business down,” explained Belleview Police Chief Terry Holland.

(Thoughts? Submit a letter to the editor here.)

1 Comment

  1. Sandra DiBiase on January 23, 2024 at 10:03 am

    Really ??? A delicate balance ?

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