ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Some businesses in historic downtown St. Charles feel as if city council wants them out because of a series of recent ordinances.
Eric Sohn, general manager of Quintessential Dining and Nightlife, said the city's latest attempt at passing a noise ordinance—to stop amplified outdoor music of any kind—would drive people away from the area.
“It would kill businesses down here. I don’t know how we would survive if (we’re) not allowed to use our rooftop for lunch, dinner, and nightlife,” Sohn said.
However, the sponsor of the ordinance, Councilman Jerry Reese, said he was withdrawing the bill at Tuesday night’s council meeting. Sohn said despite not hearing any complaints about noise from the council, they could bring it back with different wording.
Reese also voiced concern with a recent trend. In May, the council looked at a decimal ban.
“They said that couldn't work because so many other bars and things are going on, so it’s hard to get a true reading of who would be creating loud music,” he said.
Last month, the city council considered stopping alcohol sales at 11 p.m. in historic downtown before tabling the bill last week. Then came the idea of the latest noise ordinance, which was pulled before Tuesday’s meeting.
Business owners said they’re worried what could come next.
“The average resident in the City of St. Charles has no idea this is going on if we weren't letting people know on Facebook,” Sohn said.
With the city proposing different ordinances, Sohn said it does confuse people.
“We get calls people asking if we are open after 11 because that proposal did make (them) wonder, ‘What’s going on in Main Street?’” Sohn said.
Fox 2/KPLR 11 attempted to reach Councilman Reese for a comment about the ordinance he pulled, but he did not respond to our messages. The city, though, released the following statement:
"Our goal is to have an updated ordinance that is fair and enforceable while addressing concerns of our community."