Downtown noise critic speaks out

Downtown noise critic speaks out

James Barta moved into his Cherry Street loft about a year and half ago. He’s got an unwanted neighbor, but it isn’t a person -- it's noise, more specifically, live music.

“Music has been, maybe five or six hours a day, amplified six days a week, and it gets to a point, to me, it's psychologically disturbing,” Barta said.

He moved downtown to be in the middle of the action, as Macon is going through a revitalization, and to him, the music is a big part of that. 

“I don’t have a problem if you do music, if you have a restaurant and you do music, you can do it inside your four walls,” Barta said.

He says the problem is that Parish on Cherry has amplified live music on their patio that’s gone late into the evening. 

“If the city has an ordinance, which it does, establishments need to comply with that,” Barta said.

That Macon-Bibb County ordinance allows outdoor music until 9 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night. Parish is watching the clock, but Barta says there’s still more the neighbors can do.

“It’s finding a way to coexist,” Barta said.

Ruby Rose Design florist owner Anne Allen says you should expect music and noise downtown.

“This is not the country, so if you want really quiet crickets calling, then that’s where you need to be, in the country,” Allen said.

For Barta, hindsight might be 20/20.

“Had we known it was going to be like it is, I wouldn't have bought there,” Barta said.

For him, he’s just trying to enjoy his home with just city noise a few nights a week.

“These people that say that I'm sucking the fun, I want them to come down and do what we do to make that place better,” Barta said.

He says he met with owner of Parish and says they are trying to resolve the live music issue.


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