Verify: Noise ordinance impacts downtown restaurants

Verify: Noise ordinance impacts downtown restaurants

Macon is known for Otis Redding, the Allmans, and many more musicians, but some downtown residents aren't liking the sounds they hear, especially on Cherry Street.

To many Macon is a music town. It’s where Matt Moncrief’s been playing in for more than 20 years.

Every gig to me is my paycheck that my bills, my rent, my kids' food, everything that I make playing music is what I live on,” Moncrief said.

He's been playing at Parish on Cherry Street downtown since they opened their doors over a year ago. Angel Golden is the restaurant's manager.

“The nights that we do have music, it is very busy. Everybody's happy,” Golden said.

Not everyone down the street from the restaurant feels the same way. Some consider the tunes a nuisance. Bibb Sheriff's Office Patrol Lieutenant Billy Skinner is in charge of the downtown area.

“Any noise that is deemed to be persistent and is a nuisance to the public, if it’s within a earshot of the public, whether it be a loud car, loud music, really anything, a barking dog, for that matter,” Skinner said.

We verified that there is a noise ordinance in Macon-Bibb.

It takes effect at 9 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

Skinner says they had to issue Parish a citation after Moncrief continued playing a song after 9.

“In years past, it hasn’t been that big of a problem, but now, we're running into downtown becoming a mix of restaurants, nightclubs, and a residential area,” Skinner said.

Golden says they'll keep having music, but they’ll keep an eye on the clock and keep the volume lower. 

Moncrief hopes to see a change in attitude from those who aren’t fans.

It’s discouraging to these establishments, too, if they have to push it back so early. At a certain point, they're not going to want to have music there,” Moncrief said.

For now, he'll keep doing what he loves as long as he can.

Parish on Cherry Manager Angel Golden and owner Chrissy Lee plan to fight the citation at their January court date.


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