Neighbors chime in during workshop against Crescent Club’s desire for live music going later into the night
By ChrisAnn Allen
They did not like the sound of it. That’s how several people felt about the Crescent Club’s desire for later live music.
“The notion that this is a quiet venue, that abides by the law, is fundamentally a lie,” resident Joe Reagan, who owns a residence across the street from the tavern, said regarding its recent request to Sarasota County for extended live-music hours. “And that is proven by the fact that you have had citations for noise violations.”
Last year the Crescent Club, located at 6519 Midnight Pass Rd., received a $4,000 fine for having live music go beyond the current 10 p.m. limit on several occasions. That penalty was later reduced to $1,000.
Reagan was one of several residents who voiced concern during a June 19 neighborhood workshop held via Zoom. About 35 people participated in the online session, including residents, managers and owners of condominiums and residential developments located near the tavern. All those who spoke expressed concerns about the potential change, which would extend hours for live music to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday.
Presently, only recorded music can be played past 10 p.m., according to Sarasota County code.
“This entire property has turned into nothing short of a nightmare for people who live across the street,” Reagan said. “So now you are asking for this nightmare to be extended so that it goes to midnight?”
If approved, the special exception would not allow any change to the loudness of music, which is measured by decibel meters installed at the establishment. Additionally, music would continue to only be performed in the existing entertainment area.
“We are not proposing any stages anywhere else than where it occurs today,” said Bo Medred, president of Genesis Planning and Development, who represented the Crescent Club and hosted the meeting. He added that the club last year installed overhead, retractable blinds that expand the performance space to indoor/outdoor, but nothing would take place outside that area.
Al Van Cleave also said he lives across from the Crescent Club and he agrees with Reagan that noise is an issue. “We find it tolerable up until the ten-o-clock hour, but beyond that it gets a little obnoxious and uncomfortable,” he said.
Van Cleave added that “from an investment perspective” he has had complaints from renters who did not re-book, due to the noise.
Neal Schleifer, Siesta Key Condominium Council vice president, said he’s also heard from many people stating that “this could set a precedent.”
“There are many residences around it and the sound does carry because it is surrounded by water,” Schleifer said, and asked Medred to recommend to the owner that the request be rescinded.
Rita Miotti said she lives further away from the Crescent Club, at Vista Hermosa, and can still hear the loud music most nights. She also said she is worried that extending the live music hours would set a precedent for other businesses.
“Just like everything else on Siesta Key, once one business gets it, everybody else wants it, Miotti said. “If they’ve just denied it in the larger Village, down at the north end of Siesta Key, there was probably good reason for it.”
Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill, 5253 Ocean Blvd., recently also requested extended hours for live music but was voted down by the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners in January. That business had asked that live music be performed as late as 2 a.m.