Yesterday I posted an innocent posting about providing chocolate mousse for an upcoming event with a story about the Carleton Place restaurant that was providing it. Instead of people commenting on the mousse. The first comment was:
“I hope they stopped playing Metallica over the loud speakers for their dining patrons”.
In writing about the town for the past few months I have found out that outdoor patios have become a huge issue between businesses and some residents in Carleton Place. Having a business is rough these days, no doubt about it. But, when you have to tell your wedding party that there will be no music, or there will be no blues playing on both sides of the river during summer months–that is sudden death for any business.
Should you as a resident have to move to the country to hear birdsong, the occasional cow mooing and maybe a Harley in the distance? Do we forever remain the small town like our forefathers created? Maybe we should all go out and buy horses and wagons tied to the intentions of people who died over a century ago? These statements are all a bit rash, but if we believe we should keep things “the same way as they used to be”— does that mean the town should be still full of outdoor plumbing, and horse poop?
Part of the problem is the changes in technology. Music today is heavy with bass and some establishments have speakers designed to maximize those tones. You’ve heard it with the cars that pass by and rattle every window. The human ear cannot hear the lowest or highest tones that speakers can produce but you can feel it, it can rattle your home(low tones), disturb pets (high tones) and because children can hear higher notes than adults, keep kids awake.
Nothing’s ever perfect, and nothing ever stays exactly the same. But both sides need to talk to each other in one room with a mediator and work the issue out for the sanity of both sides. There needs to be a working relationship between the community and the restaurants so that everybody can coexist. For this town to succeed we need “more feet on the street” and businesses having to shut down because of lost business isn’t a solution. Then there are the people on the residential streets that have lived there before the incoming traffic of restaurants. They just can’t just pack up and move–it’s their home. For 100’s of years there have been noise, smells, and music, in every town, and both sides need to figure out how to bring this community together before it’s too late.
I’ve grown up a little bit. I understand the importance of the negotiation. It is a collective act.