PITTSFIELD — The neighbors fighting against outdoor events at Proprietor's Lodge scored a small victory this week before the Pittsfield Licensing Board.
The board voted 3-0 on Monday to allow outside amplified music only during wedding ceremonies, a compromise for some residents who wanted a total ban on amplification.
"Amplified music does not belong in a residential neighborhood, period," said resident Bob Snell.
Fellow resident Linda Pensivy was willing to compromise for the sake of the couples getting married.
"We don't want to destroy someone's wedding march," she said.
Lodge owner Eric Taylor had requested amplification for all music played outside on the grounds of the former ITAM lodge on Pontoosuc Lake.
The request came two months after the city's Licensing Board — in the face of neighborhood opposition — approved limited hours for unamplified live music and alcoholic beverages for outside functions such as weddings.
Taylor's attorney, Dennis Egan, admitted he agreed to unamplified music during the board's June 24 vote, in part to get approval for outdoor entertainment.
Egan said Taylor, who wasn't at the June meeting, later told him that amplification would be necessary to overcome surrounding noise.
Board member Dina Guiel Lampiasi drew the line at amplification, except for music during the wedding ceremony.
"We owe it to the residents before there is a sweeping change to the neighborhood," she said.
In June, the Licensing Board restricted Taylor's proposal for outdoor live music to no more than three musicians and a maximum of two hours per day between noon and 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and between noon and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Excluded is the enclosed downstairs of the new ceremonial space.
The facility's current liquor license was altered to allow outdoor service for no more than three hours per day during the same hours as the music. Alcohol service on the patio off the lodge's main restaurant will be allowed during regular business hours.
The Licensing Board's decision to extend the lodge's amenities outside came three weeks after the Community Development Board gave temporary approval for the expanded outside use of the venue through Labor Day weekend. The planners' regularly scheduled meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, includes a review of how the lodge owner and staff have handled themselves through the summer and a decision on whether to make permanent the expanded use.
Dick Lindsay can be reached at email@example.com and 413-496-6233.