Lake Ozark could limit music levels at bars, restaurants

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LAKE OZARK - A Lake Ozark restaurant and bar manager said potential restrictions on music volume could affect summer business.

The Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen will discuss an ordinance Tuesday night that would place restrictions on "amplified entertainment by establishments" with a liquor license.

If fully adopted, any amplified sound would have to end by 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. 

The general manager of Tucker's Shuckers, Tommy Taylor, said his bar and restaurant is open until 1:30 a.m. every night except Sunday, so the bill would cut more than two hours of louder music time on most nights.

"I think [music] definitely gets people out, and people aren't going to hang around and spend money if it's quiet," he said.

City Administrator Dave Van Dee said the city has received several complaints over the past few years about the volume music at various venues.

He said he thinks the increased complaints are because of newer technology that can amplify sound. He said the water also makes sound travel faster. 

Van Dee said the proposed limit is to make the business and entertainment venues "compatible" with the rest of the community. 

"Not everyone is going to be supportive of this, but there will be people who do support it," Van Dee said. "All we can do as a city is balance all of these activities for the betterment of the entire area."

Van Dee said Lake Ozark took note of regulations in neighboring Osage Beach's.

Luke Hagedorn, the general manager of Osage Beach's Dog Days, said his business tries to follow the city's regulations on amplified sound.

"Your restrictions are kind of on a case-by-case basis based on what's around you," he said. "We've always tried to be good neighbors."

Hagedorn said Dog Days built a barrier wall around part of its property to stop some of the sound from traveling to neighbors.

The venue has a stage for bands and is mainly outdoors, but Hagedorn said he has to cut the amplified music off at 11 p.m. He said affected businesses have to be more "creative" with how they structure their entertainment to be sure they follow the rules.

He said he doesn't want the neighbors to be mad at night.

"It's a fine balance trying to be a good part of the community but also trying to serve your customers in the best way," Hagedorn said.

Tucker's Shuckers is on the Bagnell Dam Strip. Taylor said he can't see that area without the music scene it has now. 

"Genuinely I just don't see how you can't have live or louder music on weekends in the summer time especially when there is so much revenue bought on the strip area," he said.

Though the strip has multiple bars and live music venues, Van Dee said, the bill is not directed toward any area in town. He said the city is not interested in closing businesses down, and its biggest concern is "addressing the volume issue before it becomes a bigger one."