By ChrisAnn Allen
Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill is now following Sarasota County directives in order to possibly provide live music later than its current 10 p.m. cut-off time.
Attorney Casey Colburn, representing Gilligan’s owner Scott Smith, said Sept. 8 that a sound study of live music was approved by Smith and the county. The study is a measure proposed by the county that would potentially allow the establishment a special exception that was denied in January. At that time, Gilligan’s was hoping to have live music go as late as 2 a.m., which is when it closes.
Colburn said he spoke with about a dozen sound engineers before receiving a proposal from Michael Keane with Keane Acoustics of Oldsmar. The county signed off Sept. 7 on the scope of work provided by Keane, thereby postponing a Sept. 13 special magistrate hearing on the special exception.
The plan entails Keane visiting Gilligan’s to measure ambient sound levels when live music is both not playing and when it is playing, spanning up to 18 hours of measuring. Keane will then compare the data against the county noise ordinance to determine current impact and potential effect of live music after 10 p.m. There will be a summary of findings, as well as mitigation recommendations, if needed.
Smith will cover the cost of the study, which is not to exceed $3,520.
“This guy has a good skill set,” Colburn said of Keane. “I’ve seen his work. The key is to get him out there at the right time, so he can generate data when we have a loud band with drums and amplifiers. Then he’ll be able to give recommendations for what we can do.”
Additionally, Colburn said Keane would measure the sound from various points on the property.
The call for a study stemmed from a July 26 mediation session between Gilligan’s, located at 5253 Ocean Blvd. in the Siesta Key Village, and the county. Following those proceedings, Colburn emailed assistant county attorney David Pearce a proposal that said there would be no live music on the back patio stage past 10 p.m. and that all live music would end at midnight seven days per week.
Pearce responded that county staff did not feel comfortable recommending Colburn’s proposal to the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners, as it did not adhere to the “scientific approach” stipulated during the July 26 hearing which would include a sound engineer’s evaluation of sound mitigation for the property.
The commission rejected the initial request by a 4-1 vote, with District 2 commissioner Mark Smith, a Siesta Key resident, providing the lone vote in favor. Then, near the end of the meeting, an additional motion for reconsideration was rejected by a 3-2 vote with Smith and former commissioner Nancy Detert in favor.