City Council grants Edgewater Hotel entertainment license

Amid strong concern from neighbors in Mansion Hill, Madison’s City Council on Tuesday granted the Edgewater Hotel an entertainment license with several conditions.
Most notably, the number of outdoor public events with live music will be limited to 35 per year. The license will be up for debate at the city’s annual renewal time at the end of June.
Residents who live near the hotel report that the noise from outdoor live music there is affecting their quality of life, while others feel the Edgewater provides valuable community events that offer access to the waterfront.
Mansion Hill Neighborhood Chair Gene Devitt said many of the events at the hotel, such as a Christmas carol chorus, do not pose problems for residents. It is when the hotel hosts bands that the noise reaches unacceptable levels, he said.
“We welcome the Edgewater, and we want people to use the lakefront. This has to do with noise,” Devitt said. “The sound has affected the lifestyle up there in terms of health.”
Mansion Hill resident Lani Schuster has an apartment that faces away from the Edgewater and toward the Capitol and Gilman Street. She said she has started keeping her windows shut during the summer because of the noise and has trouble sleeping when events occur at the hotel.
“It really angers me that I am paying for rent yet have to leave my rented home each day these amplified music events occur,” Schuster said.
In 2012, the city and the $100 million hotel reached a Public Access Management Agreement that covers uses, noise, events and activities in the public access area of the hotel. Edgewater management believed it had been operating in good faith of that agreement, but the PAMA does not replace a license.
The hotel has operated without an entertainment license since 2014. It had applied for and was granted a license in May 2014 but never picked it up or paid for it, according to the city attorney’s office.
With the license approval, the City Council adopted conditions set by the Alcohol License Review Committee after hours of public comment Sept. 13. 
The hotel must maintain decibel levels of 70 or under at the street level. Noise will be measured at the midpoint of the intersection of Langdon Street and Wisconsin Avenue.
A “band shell” shall be used during amplified live music events.
The license will be separated for renewal in 2018.
The hotel must follow the Public Access Management Agreement.
The number of outdoor public events that would fall under the entertainment license is limited to 35 per year.
Under the license, the hotel can host an unlimited number of private events with a maximum noise limit of 70 decibels. 
Ald. Ledell Zellers, District 2, wanted to further limit both public and private outdoor events to 35 per year. Of those, she proposed that 20 could occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day. She also specified that acoustic, or non-amplified, events and indoor events would not be restricted. 
“There really is no other place in the city that has this kind of situation. It is a situation where we have a neighborhood where essentially an entertainment venue landed next to all of these homes,” Zellers said. “I do think that the 35 is reasonable and that we can continue to work with the Edgewater.”
Source-The Cap Times

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