Sarasota, Florida- When Bob's Boathouse opened on October 30th off South Tamiami Trail along Phillippi Creek it battled complaints from homeowners about loud music, bright lights and outdoor dining. Close to two dozen homeowners living across the Creek from Bob's Boathouse complained to county commissioners for several months.
STORY: Sarasota County considers noise ordinance
But while the restaurant tackled those complaints it still needed to finish a "punch list" of improvements to acquire a Certificate of Occupancy from Sarasota County. The restaurant has been operating under a temporary certificate since it opened.
In December Bob's had to bay 77-thousand dollars in unpaid utilities, owners met the deadline. An extension to complete the punch list was granted twice but this last extension with a February 20 deadline appears to be the last.
County Code Enforcement officials say a "majority of the items on the "punch list" had not been completed." According to staff, the restaurant's "paperwork is still being processed." Items include utility, land, building and zoning improvements plus natural resources such as plantings near the waterline.
To view the "punch list", click here.
Based on Friday's inspection county officials say they will issue Bob's an Affidavit of Violation for operating a business without a Certificate of Occupancy.
What's next? A hearing before a special magistrate will be scheduled within the next month, according to county officials.
Bob's will be allowed to operate during the Code Enforcement process, according to county staff.
Back to homeowners' complaints: Despite doing more than 2 dozen inspections in more than 3 months, Sarasota County Code Enforcement found lighting and outdoor dining violations which were corrected but no noise violations.
RELATED: Restaurant under fire for not paying county fees, staff
Still the controversy over loud music sparked a revision of the county's noise ordinance. The proposed ordinance lowers the allowed decibel readings, moves up the hours for the stricter decibel limits and requires readings to also be taken from the recipients or complainants end.
Homeowners from River Forest Civic Association told commissioners on Wednesday they support the proposed ordinance.
A public hearing on the new noise ordinance has been set for March 19th.
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