Some tenants and visitors to Regal Beach Condominiums are complaining of sleepless nights because of noise levels from open-air Aqua Beach Restaurant and Bar across the road.
The Next Level Nightclub was also included in complaints brought up at Thursday’s Annual Liquor Licensing meeting, but concerned the behaviours of patrons after leaving the nightclub.
Presiding at the Liquor Licensing Board meeting, which took place at Customs Headquarters, was Chairman Mitchell Welds, Deputy Chairperson Lynn Bodden-Smatt, Board members Bernice Richards, Ruth Williams and Craig Nixon.
Attorney representing Regal Beach’s interests, Chris Johnston, summarised the complaints detailed in five letters from owners and tenants. These mostly concerned noise and loud music, along with use of the Regal Beach car park by patrons of the bar and nightclub. Also mentioned was how these issues go against tourism.
Regal Beach condo owners Norman Parsons said the noise is particularly bad after 9 or 10pm when he is trying to get to sleep, with work the next morning. The noise could run to 1am, and can be heard despite the windows being closed and air conditioning on.
Mr. Parsons said the noise of music primarily comes from Aqua Beach, through the bands and djs it employs. ‘You can hear it over the normal sounds in the room,’ he said, saying it was inconvenient and irritating.
Next Level patrons, he said, contribute to the screeching of car tyres on leaving and have been known to cause trouble leaving the nightclub.
Penny Cumber from Cayman Villas, who represents booking for condos for short term rentals, said they have had a number of complaints from guests who have stayed at Regal Beach. One e-mail noted that the visitors would not return to Regal Beach because of the noise coming from across the road. They didn’t sleep and even earplugs did not help, she said. The e-mail also stated that littler and use of the Regal Beach Parking lot were issues, and were not befitting what should happen at an upscale resort.
Mr. Johnston also outlined a letter from Marlene Bodden, general manager of Regal Beach, who had outlined these same issues from owners and tenants.
Noting Section 9 (1) (e) of the liquor Licensing Law stating that a premises ‘Will not cause inconvenience to the occupiers of neighbouring properties’, Mr. Johnston said that these issues are in contravention to that.
He pointed to the fact that the stage at Aqua Beach faces toward the road, with no mitigating measures to keep sounds at an acceptable level.
While the objection put to the Liquor Licensing Board was against the renewal of licenses for Aqua Beach and the Next Level, Mr. Johnston did admit that revocation might be a tad harsh a penalty.
‘We submit that there has to be appropriate conditions put in place. We’re looking for mitigation measures, either on the activities or on the hours,’ he said.
Clyde Allen, attorney representing Aqua Beach and the Next Level, noted that the relationship with Regal Beach, Aqua Beach and other such properties that serve tourists, is an important one.
He said the main concern is that of noise coming from Aqua Beach, with no real noise emanating from the Next Level.
His recommendation as a solution to the noise from Aqua Beach is to turn all speakers to face directly inwards into the bar. Some speakers face the road, he said.
He also proposed purchasing special equipment, to be attached to the sound system, which would keep the noise to an agreed level. ‘It’s designed to stop sound from carrying,’ he said.
In setting it up, he noted, they would need access, from time to time, to units at Regal Beach in order to check if levels set are appropriate.
He asked that the Liquor Board allow these proposed noise reduction systems be put in place and tested. If a problem still persists they can come back before the board again, he said.
Pointing out that the area in which Aqua Beach and Regal Beach are in (the main Seven Mile Beach corridor) has many bars, it did not seem fair, he said, to deem litter on the Regal Beach property to be caused by Aqua Beach and the Next Level patrons, when it could have come from patrons of any of the bars.
‘My clients regularly clean around their premises,’ he said.
He also said that screeching tyres of patrons is something that is out of his clients’ control.
There is parking all through the back of the Next Level, so, he said, it was not fair to say that those parking in the Regal Beach lot are necessarily from the bar and nightclub.
He suggested Regal Beach turns the signs posted in its car park toward the road so people can see more clearly that it is a private car park.
Mr. Allen said the police regularly visit the Next Level in a community policing role and there are three security people outside to ensure order. He did not believe there had been any trouble there in a long time.
The board went into closed deliberations to consider this and other matters.