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Bird and Raven on talking terms

50th Street pub to fight noise fine in court

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Oct 12/01) - A Yellowknife dance club is fighting a $75 fine for breaking the city's noise bylaw.

Doug Gillard, manager of municipal enforcement, said this week that the Raven's Pub is scheduled to argue against the fine in court on Oct. 16.

The bar initially contested the fine at a justice of the peace hearing Wednesday night, said Gillard.

"Our acting manager tried to speak to the owner, but they're indicating in order to keep their business profitable they have to keep music loud," said Gillard.

The city's municipal enforcement division fined the Raven on Sept. 25 after receiving noise complaints from Northern Heights residents who live across from the 50th Street pub.

The same residents submitted a petition to Coun. Dave Ramsay complaining about the pub's noise level. Residents said the noise goes through the roof of the pub.

Ramsay said he sympathizes with both sides. He asked city administration for recommendations to deal with the problem at Tuesday night's council meeting.

Jennifer Marchant, Northern Heights manager, suggested the city introduce a decibel-level noise standard. Ramsay relayed the idea.

Recommendations will come in two weeks, said Ramsay.

The current bylaw is enforced on a complaint basis. Gillard said if the pub keeps breaking the bylaw, they'll continue to fine them.

"Our only recourse is to have them comply," said Gillard.

Pub owner Jim Sturge said he doesn't want to comment on the court action.

"You probably know more than I do," he said, adding that "there's been some things talked about" with the residents but did not elaborate.

But it appears Sturge held out the laurel leaf of diplomacy.

Carl Bird, president of Yellowknife Condo Corp. 9 (Northern Heights), said he spoke with Sturge.

"I was contacted by the owner and asked if I will sit down and talk," said Bird. "Right now I'm the only one that's talked to him."

"We have opened a dialogue ... on what can be done to work this out without having to deal with the courts," said Bird.

All Bird wants, he said, is "a good night's sleep for condo owners."