By Tim O’Meilia
Let the music play on, play on, play on.
That’s the Lionel Ritchie All Night Long
message most of the nearly 200 people who attended the Lantana Town Council
meeting July 12 delivered.
By a 4-0 vote, music lovers and partygoers persuaded the Town Council to drop a
proposed ban on outdoor music at sidewalk cafes after 9 p.m. Instead, the
council will allow the town’s current noise regulations banning “loud and
raucous” noise, especially after 11 p.m., to control the Ocean Avenue
“The economy is not in great shape. Businesses are closing down. This is not very
friendly for the business owner,” said Wayne Cordero, owner of the popular Old
Key Lime House on Ocean Avenue, which has outdoor seating on the Intracoastal
Waterway and late-night live music.
Cordero submitted a petition of what he said were the signatures of 2,700 people opposing the 9 p.m. outdoor music cutoff.
“We’re probably the nosiest place in town” yet the Lime House has had only five complaints in the past year, he said.
Another restaurateur who has yet to open also complained of the proposal. “This will
destroy the development and beautification of Lantana. This does not make any
sense whatsoever,” said Leopold Balistrieri, who plans to open Apicius
Ristorante and Enotica, a restaurant and wine bar, later this summer at the
former Il Trullo site.
“I didn’t think Frank Sinatra was that noisy,” he said.
Residents filled the 125-person council chambers and left more than 50 more people
outside listening on loudspeakers. Ironically, the discussion ended at 9:30
p.m., 30 minutes after the proposed music shutdown.
The limit on outdoor music was part of an annual zoning code revision. Outdoor
cafes had not been regulated previously under town ordinances and all
recommendations except the music limit were approved with little discussion.
Only a handful of the 27 people who spoke supported the 9 p.m. cutoff.
“Sometimes it’s just noise to me,” said Alfred Brode, who lives three houses away from the
Old Key Lime House. “If you had a home close and listened to music and noise
every day …” he said.
Sandra Picone, another nearby resident, said she couldn’t go outside some nights
because the music was too loud. She also questioned whether many of the 2,700
signatures on the petition were from town residents.
Both the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce and the Old Village Point Association, an Ocean Avenue condominium, opposed the limit.
And Police Capt. Jeff Tyson said restaurant owners always cooperated when noise complaints were made, although there were few.
Although Councilwoman Elizabeth Tennyson sympathized with the residents who were
disturbed by the music, she asked, “Is there anything to guarantee a resident
can sit in his yard and not have to listen to someone else’s music?”