June 14, 2016

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Ordinance Amending Chapter 4 – Use Regulations – and Chapter 10 – Definitions and Rules of Interpretation – of the Unified Development Ordinance Regarding Incidental Outdoor Entertainment

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider an ordinance amendment that would establish standards for “incidental” outdoor entertainment offered by businesses in Emerald Isle, and would simplify the approval process for such activities.  A public hearing is required before Board consideration of the attached ordinance amendment, and has been scheduled and advertised for the June 14 meeting.

As noted in the attached memo from Josh Edmondson, Town Planner, several existing businesses in Emerald Isle periodically offer outdoor music and other entertainment for their patrons.  Technically, a special use permit is required for these activities, however, many businesses have not secured a permit and have simply offered this entertainment.  In most cases, the
“incidental” outdoor entertainment has been effectively controlled by the business, there have not been complaints from nearby property owners, and the Town has not taken any enforcement action. 

Examples of “incidental” outdoor entertainment offered in Emerald Isle in the past include musical performances at Holiday TravLPark, The Islander, RuckerJohns, The Irish Pirate, SALT, Flipperz, Bogue Inlet Pier, and the Emerald Club.  The new Trading Post restaurant (formerly Mike’s Place) has also recently inquired about outdoor music performances.  In many cases, the musical acts are acoustic and the volume is contained appropriately.  The Police Department has occasionally received complaints about loud music from SALT and The Emerald Club, however, the owners of these establishments have cooperated and comply with the Town’s noise ordinance, which does not allow loud music after 11 pm.  (A copy of the Town’s noise ordinance is attached.)

The attached ordinance amendment defines “incidental” outdoor entertainment, allows such entertainment as a permitted use in the Government, Camp, Business, Village East, and Village West zoning districts, and establishes reasonable standards intended to protect nearby property owners from potentially unwanted lighting and noise impacts.  A zoning permit would be required by businesses offering “incidental” outdoor entertainment, and such permits would be issued administratively by the Town Planner.

Josh Edmondson and I look forward to discussing this issue with the Board at the June 14 meeting.