By Linda Dillman
Loose Rail supporters flooded the Canal Winchester City Council meeting on Oct. 16 regarding complaints about loud music coming from Loose Rail Brewing’s outdoor patio.
“Noise is subjective,” said Loose Rail owner Nathan Doerfler. “Music is all around us because we are in the city. Music, for us, is a necessity.”
Doerfler said he met with city officials multiple times in mid-May, was told not to exceed 100 decibels and contends the level has not exceeded 75 decibels.
He felt it was unfair the city later discussed potentially charging his establishment, which is located on West Waterloo Street, with disorderly conduct through the court system because of noise complaints.
“Twice—in four months—we’ve been told to turn the music down,” said Doerfler. “We need an objective standard. If you are going to ask me to do something, you have to ask everyone else (to do the same).”
Resident Brad MacBrair said he is a fan of Loose Rail. He also lives a “stone’s throw” from the high school. He commented on the cheering and music that emanates from the stadium, which he can hear on his property.
“If you do it (regulate noise) for one specific thing, you might have unintended consequences,” said MacBrair, who suggested the stadium noise might get caught up in the process.
West Mound Street resident Pat Burks said at times the music is too loud and felt if it seeps into a house, “it disrupts your peace.”
“Noise is subjective,” said Burks. “It’s not all the time. This music, even not at a certain decibel, if it is in your house, it is an aggravation. I think our neighborhood has a headache and we have to get rid of it.”
Attorney Mike Vasko, who represents Loose Rail, said the situation is a difficult one and it is important for offended parties to sit down and talk with defending parties.
“Council is caught in the middle and it’s an election year,” said Vasko. “I don’t think there’s an objectionable amount of noise. There’s always going to be someone who says, that’s not good enough. I think you should slow this down before taking action.”
City Law Director Gene Hollins said a contributing factor in the issue is a breakdown in communications and he is convening a meeting with all stakeholders.
“Communication seems to be the key,” Hollins said. “We will shortly undertake an effort to get the parties to the table.”