Nightclub noise irks neighbour

Conflict continues between Matrix, Jillian’s

Jillian’s Billiard Bar and Lounge says its business is at risk because of noise levels coming through next-door-neighbour the Matrix Nightclub’s walls at the Islander Complex.

‘People leave our bar,’ said Stanley Walton from Jillian’s at Thursday’s quarterly session of the Liquor Licensing Board.

The objection was first heard at December 2005’s meeting when the Board gave the owners of the Matrix two weeks to sort out the noise disturbance. If it was not sorted out the board would consider suspending their Music & Dancing Licence until the problem was sorted out.

At Thursday’s meeting, Mr. Cary English of the Matrix said that after getting the ultimatum, he got acoustic advice from an expert to build a separate insulating wall three inches from the existing wall.

Mr. English had the recommended wall built. It consisted of foam covered by dry wall.

The landlord had been asked if a concrete wall could be put there, but he had not approved it, said Mr. English.

The acoustic experts had said that because of the infrastructure of the building, the sound can still travel through the floor or ceiling of the building, so the newly built wall cannot fully eliminate the noise.

Mr. English said he believed it was up to the landlord to provide the right infrastructure in the building for the two businesses to co-exist peacefully.

On questioning from Board member Ruth Williams, Mr. English said the wall had cost $6,000 to build.

Mr. English said although the wall has lessened the noise going through the wall, the base is still clearly going through to Jillian’s.

He said if he had been permitted to build a concrete wall perhaps the problem would now be resolved, and he felt his hands are tied with the problem. ‘I think I have done enough,’ he said.

On behalf of Jillian’s, Mr. Walton said the attempt to rectify the problem was not sufficient.

At Queen’s Court Plaza, he said, where the O Bar (a nightclub) and The Attic (a billiard lounge) co-exist together it is the exact same set-up, only a peaceful one, he said.

A special type of sound deadening boards have been placed in the wall between these two businesses, and sound does not leak through the walls, he said. This solution has been suggested to Mr. English, he said.

A gentleman from Prestige Drywall had informed Mr. Walton about these boards. Chairman Mitchell Welds said he had spoken to this gentleman who had said the boards had not eliminated the noise coming from O Bar, but it had significantly improved it.

Mr. Walton made the point that they never expected 100 per cent elimination, just a good improvement. ‘We’re not trying to sleep at Jillian’s,’ he said.

But the situation has only become worse for Jillian’s because the Matrix now operates three nights a week and the extra night gives the billiard lounge an extra evening of sound interference.

He said he had bought a decibel meter and it had shown that the level of interference coming from the Matrix is greater than Jillian’s stable output of sound.

‘It’s not the landlord’s problem. It’s a Matrix problem,’ he commented.

He said the infrastructure of the Queen’s Court Plaza building is no different from the Islander Complex.

The meeting heard that the landlord had met previously with the two tenants, but the landlord had said it was not his problem.

On questioning from Board member Bernice Richards, Mr. Walton said he would have nothing to do with any costs to rectify the situation because it is not his problem.

Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan said it should be up to the tenants to resolve the issue, and if O Bar could control its noise then other nightclubs should be able to do the same.

Mr. Welds said it was not the Board’s intention to shut anyone down.

He said he was not making a threat, but he wanted to point the following out to Mr. English: ‘In your situation as a nightclub you depend heavily on your Music and Dance licence, which the Board has some authority over. If there is any way you can solve this problem it would be in your best interest’.

Mr. English said if the board had given him longer than two weeks to solve the problem perhaps they could have.

Asked why he didn’t ask for more time, he said ‘I thought we had no other option than putting up with two weeks’.

Mr. Welds said at the time the two week ruling was made the Board felt, based on the evidence it heard that materials were available locally, that this was enough time.

Mr. Welds also said the Board would write to the landlord to see if he could assist the situation in any way. ‘We can’t make demands of the landlord,’ he said.

He asked if Mr. English was willing to look at another option if the landlord would assist. He said he was.

Mr. Walton asked that another time limit be put on this so there could be a date for resolution. This was to be discussed in closed deliberations.