Small business owners in Petersburg react to possibly shutting down earlier


PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC)–Businesses in Petersburg may have to close earlier following a resident’s noise complaint to city leaders.

A noise complaint was made by one resident about a restaurant over the summer. This prompted the planning commission to review its noise ordinance and hours of operation for businesses.

The planning commission held a public hearing this week. Their recommendation to city council is for no noise over 55 decibels inside and for noise not to exceed 65 decibels outside from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. From the hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. noise shouldn’t exceed 65 decibels inside and 75 decibels outside.

DJ Fast Frank, with Andretti’s Restaurant, said this change would negatively impact business.

“We have to go down to a volume that most people probably do 65 decimals in their car without an amplifier,” he said.

The planning commission will also ask the city council to not close businesses like restaurants, wineries and coffee shops at 11 p.m.

Restaurant owner David Payne said small businesses are barely making it out of the pandemic.

“Who wants to kick us in our knee when we’re just getting on our feet?” he asked.

Kat McCay, the owner of Alibi’s Bar and Grille, said it’s her staff who would suffer the most.

“You’re taking hours and income from a long list of people,” she said.

Latryce Noel said choosing to live in the city’s historic district comes with embracing its nightlife.

“Everybody knows that we have a very vibrant and active nightlife,” she said. “So if you are considering becoming a resident of this area you have to know what you’re getting into.”

City council members vote Tuesday on the planning commission’s recommendation to change the noise ordinance. In January, the council will vote on whether to shorten certain businesses’ hours from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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