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Jefferson noise spat centers around downtown pub
Mike’s Down Under, a pub in downtown Jefferson, is at the center of debate concerning the city’s current noise ordinance. - photo by BRANDEE A. THOMAS

JEFFERSON — A pub in downtown Jefferson is at the center of a discussion concerning the city’s noise ordinances.

Mike’s Down Under is a pub and grill located at 30 Sycamore St., off the downtown square. According to the establishment’s Web site, the "bar serves from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Mondays and from 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday."

In addition to being a bar, the venue also features weekly performances by area bands.

Although the establishment is surrounded mostly by commercial properties, some residential property owners in the vicinity have complained to the Jefferson City Council that the noise coming from Mike’s Down Under is a problem.

Mike Carron, pub owner and a Jefferson resident, told the City Council Monday that he has done everything to abide by the city’s noise ordinances.

"I don’t know what else I can do to be more legal," Carron told the council. "I try to set the (noise) gauge and then walk down the street to make sure the (noise) is within limits, and most times we are. When it’s not, we try to correct it."

Carron also told the council that the number of noise complaints lodged against his establishment has "gone past harassment."

City ordinance currently requires all noise levels drop to a certain level after 10 p.m. The noise level is determined by the zoning for the receiving property; in residential areas, noise levels must not be higher than 45 decibels after 10 p.m., in commercial areas that level is 60 decibels and in industrial areas it’s 70 decibels.

To determine noise levels, sound readings are taken from the property line of the receiving property. Since many homeowners’s properties have a commercial zoning, the allowable noise level is higher than some would prefer.

During Monday’s council meeting, some residents complained that their properties should have residential zoning, instead of commercial, since their properties are used for residential purposes.

City Manager John Ward is expected to do a survey of the property zonings near Mike’s Down Under to assess if any properties should be rezoned to residential and relay his findings back to the City Council.

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