Noise complaint against BG beer business settled

After neighbor complaints, a local brewery has agreed to a cease-and-desist order for its outdoor music — for 40 years.

Arlyn’s Good Beer LLC, 520 Hankey Ave., is within an area zoned light industrial, and complainants argued that it was violating the city’s zoning code.

In a decision filed Wednesday by Wood County Common Pleas Judge Joel Kuhlman, the musical noise restrictions agreed to by the parties will continue until Aug. 12, 2062, or as long as the type of business located on the property manufactures or sells any type of alcoholic beverage.

In May, residents on South Maple Street and Eberly Avenue filed a complaint against the brewery and the city.

City Attorney Michael Marsh had agreed with the complaint, but according to the court paperwork filed in May, the complainants were tired of waiting for the city to do something.

“To date, the city has not undertaken any legal action against the company,” according to the court documents.

The city was aware of these issues for over a year and took no enforcement action, the complaint stated, forcing the plaintiffs to ask for injunctive relief.

According to court paperwork, some city officials, when notified of the complaint, urged neighbors to put up with the zoning code violations and encouraged “neighborhood cohesiveness over there.”

In the city’s zoning code, light industrial prohibits bars, taverns, dance halls, rental halls or similar commercial recreational activities.

They asked for the law to be enforced, arguing that Arlyn’s allows alcohol, including some made by others, to be consumed on site, and that bands amplify their music.

“These alcohol sales and music are not related to any industrial or manufacturing process,” states the complaint.

The light industrial zoning code permits the manufacture, assembly or storage of product that produces a minimum of noise, odor, dust and smoke.

The brewery also hosts food trucks, which is not related to manufacturing.

Food trucks are permitted in all zoning districts in the city while on private property, according to paperwork filed by Hunter Brown, who works in the Bowling Green Prosecutor’s Office.

In June, an interim motion was filed in Wood County Common Pleas Court that Arlyn’s Good Beer LLC shall restrict noise to a level equal to or below 40 decibels at the property line.

The brewery’s operations have negatively affected the peace and quiet at their residences by increasing neighborhood disturbances, according to the complaint.

In August 2018, the city approved the operations of “light manufacturing with tasting room and garden.” The brewery opened in February 2020.

According to the brewery’s objection, it has not hosted music in its outdoor beer garden since April 2021 and does not sell alcohol it doesn’t make.

No criminal charges or other citations have ever been issued against Arlyn’s and there is no evidence it exceeded the applicable noise limit, according to the business’s rebuttal.

The plaintiffs requested a permanent injunction and that the city be forced to enforce its zoning code.

Last week, the court ordered that all music, live or recorded, will be played indoors and will not be projected by exterior speakers or other exterior means; and that any music played from within Arlyn’s shall be limited in volume so that it does not exceed a maximum decibel level of 50db at the business’s property line.

No later than Oct. 31, Arlyn’s owners must plant 6-feet Giant Arborvitae trees approximately 8 feet from the existing tree line. Approximately 15-20 trees will be planted every 7 feet along the eastern property line.

The business will not locate any picnic tables, corn-hole games, fire pits or other items designed to be used for similar social activities within 30 feet of the new tree line.

The musical noise restrictions agreed to by the parties will apply with any potential future zoning changes, including, but not limited to, variances or amendments to the Bowling Green municipal code.

This consent judgment is enforceable via contempt proceedings. In the event that the court makes a finding of contempt, Arlyn’s shall be subject to a mandatory fine of $4,000.

However, if the current zoning district within which Arlyn’s is situated is changed, in the event that the court makes a finding of contempt, the mandatory fine will be $2,000.

Arlyn’s will be given 30 days to fix any future complaint. Two alleged violations will be allowed in a calendar year. Upon a third violation, plaintiffs may file a contempt motion with the court.