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Sundance Patio Sees Approval Despite Neighbor Complaints

The Port Washington Common Council approved the use of an outdoor dining area at Sundance in Port Washington, also allowing live music, despite complaints from neighbors about noise and other problems.

Despite pleas from neighbors to reconsider the use of a newly-added patio at , the Port Washington Common Council approved the addition that now allows the business to play music and serve food and beverage outdoors.

The council voted 6-1, with Ald. Jim Vollmar voting against the decision because of the complaints he's received from neighbors. The conditional use grant allows the business to serve dinner and beverages on the patio until 10 p.m., as well as play music.

"We may be the only ones who are here tonight to speak up, but there are other people in the neighborhood who are frustrated by the noise," said Karina Gross, who's house is across the street from Sundance's driveway. "I think it would be wonderful if they are just strictly looking to have dinner and bring people in and have cocktails … but if they can limit (the hours)."

"I don't have a problem with the dining outside, as long as its concluded at a reasonable time at night … perhaps 10 at night," Karina's husband, Link, said. "What I would have a problem with is loud music and alcohol consumption outside."

Sundance owner Lila Parent, who co-owns the tavern with her husband Pat Montalto, said the business aims to be conscious of it's surroundings.

"We try to have as harmonious an operation as we can," Parent said."(The area is) patrolled, we see patrol officers — we welcome a patrol officer to take care of a situation that isn’t right.

"We designed a very quaint patio, our intent is rather soft. I think it will really fit in very well."

Parent explained the business is looking forward to having "Music on the Green" during afternoons — such as its first soloist booking this Sunday — rather than loud bands that would blare late into the evening.

Neighbors also pointed out that ever sense The Patio has had its outdoor arrangement, the neighborhood has had an increase in problems.

Kyle Kanop, who lives near Sundance and The Patio, said while he thinks Sundance's patio looks really nice, he worries that problems he sees from The Patio — such as loud noise and vulgar language — will become a problem at the new addition.

"If we already have one situation in the neighborhood that's causing grief, why would we add a second one," Karina Gross said.

While aldermen understand the concerns from these neighbors, many worried about giving differential treatment to one business. Neighbors also mentioned that they were hesitant to call the police to avoid being the "squeaky wheel," in Link Gross' words, or in trying to be a "forgiving neighbor," as Kanop said.

But Ald. Paul Neumyer said the lack of police records makes it hard for him to support special limitations.

"If there is a problem you need to call the police, if it gets out of order … call the police," Neumyer said. "There is very little on record showing that we have a problem there. It's kind of hard for us to limit something, when we don’t have a lot of records of problems."

Greg August 09, 2012 at 09:07 PM
It sounds like Neumyer does not understand the powers a conditional use permit allows.
pat montalto August 09, 2012 at 10:03 PM
As the owner of Sundance I want to insure my neighbors I will do everything in my power to make sure that our patio is neighbor friendly. If you see or hear any potential problems please contact me directly. My cell phone is 262 227 2308. As my wife said at the Common Council meeting we intend to have low keyed music. and we want to create a relaxing yet fun atmosphere. We will not condone rowdiness of any kind. Once again I want to say that I will work with all of my neighbors to create a relaxing, fun, and enjoyable location that is neighbor friendly.
Terry August 16, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Another possible use for one of our mayors 16 member blue ribbon panels?

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