Music ordinance challenged in HaywardA Hayward restaurant owner is taking the city of Hayward to federal court over its night time music ordinance.
By: Laura Podgornik, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A Hayward restaurant owner is taking the city of Hayward to federal court over its night time music ordinance.
Molly Otis opened the Pavilion restaurant and wine bar on Hayward’s Main Street in 1999. Otis says she’s dedicated a lot of time into making it what it is today.
But when Hayward enacted a Music Ordinance in 2007, Otis was told she wouldn’t be able to have any music in her new courtyard past 10 p.m. without a special permit. She says she’s lost 45-percent of her total seating because she can’t use her outdoor courtyard.
“It’s not just my business,” says Otis. “They shut down this beautiful bed and breakfast from ever doing weddings outdoors where they’d have a little trio play.”
Otis says when it was booming, the World Lumberjack Championships would be held all day then wrap up with a beer garden and music all evening, which generated a lot of income.
“And all of a sudden they couldn’t do that. They’re shutting down businesses. They’re hurting a small community. It’s a tourist community and it should be bringing people in at night.”
Otis has since been denied a permit twice. Her attorney Glenn Stoddard says they want to see the music ordinance changed to a noise ordinance. He says that’s something that can be done as long as it’s done in a fair manner and as long as there are standards that are reasonable and measurable.
“That’s something that Ms. Otis had suggested to the city when they were considering the ordinance and they simply ignored her,” he says. “She has no problem with that. She’s aware that there are people who are concerned about loud noise and music.”
Hayward Mayor Bill Swintkowski and City Attorney Michael Kelsey declined to comment on the lawsuit because it is still pending in federal court. The city has put the music curfew ordinance on hold until the litigation is completed.