Council to Debate Entertainment on Outdoor Patios on January 17, 2017

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Rick Cordeiro

The Marine Discovery Centre, owned by the Hamilton Waterfront Trust and leased to Sarcoa Restaurant and Nightclub

Hamilton City Council will debate allowing outdoor entertainment on patios during the January 17, 2017 Planning Committee meeting.

Planning staff are bringing forth a temporary use by-law that will enable restaurants with patios in commercial districts to have outdoor entertainment. Presently, all entertainment on patios is forbidden within the zoning bylaws.

This restriction becomes an issue of public attention during World Cup soccer championships – bars are not allowed to have televisions or game audio on patios.

Recently, the Hamilton Waterfront Trust leased space to Sarcoa nightclub, and the Trust granted them permission to have loud music on the waterfront patio. The Hamilton Waterfront Trust claimed to enjoy a full exception to municipal bylaws as the lands were federally owned.

North End residents challenged this novel interpretation, and the City of Burlington intervened after the noise caused disruptions in Aldershot.

The Hamilton Waterfront Trust then applied for a formal exception to the bylaw as a “minor variance”, which was not granted by the Committee of Adjustment in a hearing that brought dozens of residents who make deputations. (Full video of the hearing: Sarcoa and Noise Bylaw – The City Hall Debates)

Sarcoa is now suing the City of Hamilton, claiming the City and its Waterfront Trust misrepresented when signing the lease, and have damaged their business. (The HWT is now distancing itself from its previous positions)

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