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Condo owners take on the Raven

Northern Heights residents upset about pub's bass line

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Oct 05/01) - Condo owners in a city downtown highrise say noise from a downtown bar is driving them crazy.

Residents of the Northern Heights condo complex recently presented Coun. Dave Ramsay with a petition signed by around 40 people complaining about the Raven's Pub.

"Have you had it with the noise coming from the Raven's Pub?" reads the petition.

A number of those signing the petition wrote in complaints about other sources of noise, among them the Gold Range, street traffic and garbage collection.

Jennifer Marchant, a seventh-floor resident and manager of the building, said the bar has a "terrible bass problem."

"You know when someone drives by in a vehicle with the music up and it goes thump, thump, thump?" asked Marchant. "It's just like that, a constant interruption noise. You can hear it over the television."

Marchant said she wants the city to insert decibel-level restrictions into its noise bylaw.

The city's noise bylaw designates the hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. as "quiet time." But the bylaw is enforced only on a complaint basis, not according to a specific noise threshold.

Bar owner Jim Sturge said the noise will decrease after he expands into an adjacent vacant building.

When this happens, the dance-floor speakers will no longer face 50th Street, which is the cause of the problem, said Sturge.

Sturge said he's also spent $15,000 on the sound system to control noise better.

Ramsay said he'd like to see both sides work out their issues, but admitted it's a tough quandary. "(Sturge is) trying to run a business and (condo owners) are trying to sleep," said Ramsay.

"I don't know what the remedy is," he said. "I feel for both."

But Sturge isn't going to bend over backwards to please Northern Heights residents.

"In all fairness I respect the people with their condominiums but I have a business," said Sturge."

"There's people there who've been chronic complainers."

"Are they prepared to pay a ton of money to shut the Raven down?" asked Sturge.

It might come to that.

"We're very concerned about this," said Marchant, who noted that if the city avenue fails they might go the legal route.