It took two votes, but the Bradley Beach Borough Council this week voted unanimously to continue to allow the summer music series in the parking lot of Giamano’s Restaurant, located at Third and Main Avenues.
Mayor Gary Engelstad opened the discussion by reading the results of a resident survey he conducted of surrounding homes. The mayor said of the 30 respondents, 16 were in favor of allowing the live music, with six people saying they don’t want the music at all and four who want the number of music events reduced along with the volume.
For the past three years a variety of live bands have played in the parking lot from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Sunday from Memorial Day weekend until the end of September.
Third Avenue resident Thomas Coan said he would only agree to having the music be played during holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, but anything else would be “unacceptable.”
Jane DeNoble, also of Third Avenue, likened hearing the music every Sunday to having a wedding next door to her home for 16 straight Sundays.
“Four hours of music blaring next door can be cute at first,” she said.
Coan also said he believed the council should not be voting on the measure at all, saying it is a zoning issue.
“This is a zoning power; this is not the correct venue for this request,” he said. “It should go before the zoning board, it’s a use variance.”
Coan also said he can not comfortably use his backyard for entertaining while the music is playing.
“It’s over 30 percent of my year that I’m not comfortable to use my backyard for entertaining,” he said.
Jim Carella of Second Avenue said he lives 200 feet away from Giamano’s and said he doesn’t have a problem with the music series but the music should be inside.
“It’s always been inside and that’s where it should remain,” he said.
He also commented that parking spaces are being taken up by the bands.
“It makes no sense taking away parking spaces, how are you going to increase the flow of commerce,” he said.
Giamano’s owner Steffan Manno was at the meeting and said only three parking spaces are used by the bands who play.
Manno also said many people attend the music events and he has had mostly positive feedback from residents and business owners.
“It is a well attended event by many in town,” he said.
Harvey Rosenberg said he is in favor of the music as a means to revitalize Main Street.
“Why this year is it a problem? We are trying to make the town unique,” he said.
Coan responded by saying with the recent revaluation of the borough his tax assessment increased by $200,000.
“I spent a lot of money on my backyard and now I can’t use it,” he said.
Some residents asked if other restaurants would now be allowed to have outdoor music at their establishments, but Engelstad said it was not a blanket agreement and each business would have to petition the council individually.
“It doesn’t create a precedent, it’s not a blanket agreement,” he said.
The mayor added that he has only had two music requests in 12 years on the council.
On first vote Engelstad proposed ending the music a half hour earlier at 8 p.m. and ending the series Labor Day weekend.
That vote was defeated three to two.
On second vote he kept the 8:30 p.m. ending on Labor Day and that vote passed unanimously.
Following the second vote Coan said, “It is illegal, check with your attorney.”
In other business Auditor David Kaplan presenting his annual report giving high praise to the borough and it’s financial management.
“You have a great team here, you have a team that works hard, it was a pleasure doing the audit,” he said.