Questions were raised as to different specifications of the ordinance, asking for clarification of their terminology.

The Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen passed the final reading of an ordinance limiting loud music in bars after hosting a public discussion. The board unanimously passed the second reading. The bill became an ordinance Tues., Feb. 26, 2019. Alderman Dennis Klautzer was absent for the vote.

Community members brought forth concern with the clarity of what was being introduced. Questions were raised as to different specifications of the ordinance, asking for clarification of their terminology. 

According to the ordinance, “A. No person having a license under this Chapter shall amplify any form of entertainment, including but not limited to live music or recorded music, before the hour of 7 a.m. nor after the hour of 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday nor after the hour of 11:59 p.m. Friday through Saturday, excepting: 1. Entertainment that is contained within the confines of the establishment such that there are no open windows or doors other than as minimally required for lawful ingress and egress of the entertainment; or 2. Provided for in any special use permit. B. As provided for in this section, ‘amplify’ shall mean to enhance sound by means of any speaker, sound system or other device, electronic or otherwise, which is designed to increase the volume of any sound.”

Lake area resident Michael Sasseen tried to stay neutral, looking at both sides of the issue. 

“I am a resident at Lake of the Ozarks. I live two miles away from the end of the Strip,” Sasseen said. “When we bought our house, we knew there was going to be music coming from the Strip and we were okay with that until last year. We actually put $10,000 in renovations of our house just to block some of the noise out. I have a two-year-old and he cannot sleep. I think the way it’s worded is wrong. I think it’s not going to work for businesses. I am all for businesses. I own a business here at the Lake. Tourism is a big part of my business, too. But I’d like for my child to be able to sleep at night. And I thought we wouldn’t have problems living two miles away from the Strip. I was a sheriff deputy of Miller County at one time and this is a hard decision. This is probably one of the hardest restrictions to enforce on the Lake.”

Kelly Lyons, representing J. Waynes, expressed her concerns about money at the meeting. “Federal law says that we have until 1 o’clock” Lyons said. “We did the math before we came here. You take that one hour during the week for businesses like J. Waynes that’s opened 12 months a year and you are averaging about 114 people a day through the whole month period. And you take away those hours, we will lose $435,000 a year in revenue. I understand it’s a noise reduction. I also understand that these big charter boats that fire up at 6:30 or 7 o’clock in the morning also wake us up. There’s those of us that work until 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning and we are getting woken up by boats that have five or six engines in them. If we are going to have a noise ordinance, then we need to do it completely across the Lake.”

Police Chief Gary Launderville came forth to clarify his perspective as a member of law enforcement. He was concerned about having specific views to regulate the different disturbances. 

“If this ordinance passes as written, the police department will treat issues related to this as any other issue: common sense will play a factor,” Launderville said. “All I ask is to give my officers some guidelines that they can follow. It’s hard for us to enforce it.”

The board says that they will move forward with the changes and see how well they go into effect. If problems arise, consideration to change wording of the ordinance will be viewed.