You should be able to “get a kiss and get out” on New Year's Eve, thanks to a petition signed by Dunedin merchants.
Wendy Barmore of the Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association presented officials with a petition asking for a one-time extension on the amplified sound curfew for celebrations throughout the city.
The extension, Barmore explained, would encourage patronage to Dunedin’s bars and restaurants on Dec. 31, a day traditionally observed with late night parties to welcome in the new year.
“The idea is not to have them go to other cities,” Barmore said at the Dec. 15 meeting.
Officials agreed to extend the noise curfew from 11 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2012.
One angry resident, who said he lives behind The Island Outpost on the Dunedin Causeway, rushed to City Hall when he heard the Dec. 15 noise discussion happening in real-time on Dunedin TV. He arrived just after officials voted 5-0 to relax regulations.
He criticized officials for disregarding the interests of the people who live near the restaurants and bars and accused authorities of not doing their jobs.
“The police aren’t going to be available. They don’t respond,” he said. “They stop their vehicles, parade around the joint like they’re trying to monitor —“
Mayor Dave Eggers assured him code enforcement officials would be undercover making sure merchants are keeping within the 65-decibal sound limit.
Barmore said merchants did not ask for a later time out of respect for neighbors. The 12:30 a.m. time, she said, was designed so people can “hit that midnight, get a kiss and get out.”