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Nightclubs expansion approved

Apartment tenants had complained about music, noise from Island Delights

By Candace Sipos -- csipos@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Despite some concerns, the City Council voted Tuesday night in favor of conditional-use permits that allow expansion of two nightclubs.

Doreen Swanson said she has heard complaints from tenants at Fort Collier Terrace Apartments for the past six years she has served as the property manager. Most of them didn't realize they could call the police about excessive noise from nearby Island Delights Caribbean Restaurant, at 821 N. Loudoun St., she added.

When the restaurant requested a six-month conditional-use permit for expansion, she wanted her tenants' voices to be heard.

"The noise is a terrible problem right now," Swanson said. "That music is awful."

She said the owners turn up the music significantly on Friday and Saturday nights, resulting in about two noise complaints every month from nearby residents.

John Iszarry, who has been living in the complex for more than two years, asked the council to request or require the business to look into more soundproof barriers.

"Are they meeting the requirements when it comes to isolating noise?" he asked.

Swanson brought a petition signed by 49 people who didn't want the conditional-use permit to be granted, but the council voted unanimously to approve it.

"I think we need to give the business an opportunity to solve the problem," Councilman Art Major said, adding that the restaurant owners have been good in the past about addressing other issues.

The council also unanimously approved a request for a conditional-use permit to expand Perlita's Mexican Restaurant at 101-103 Weems Lane.

Blanca Lopez, co-owner of the restaurant, said she is expanding the business into the 103 Weems Lane property, where there are fewer windows, to help address the noise concerns.

"I don't think that not granting this is going to solve any problems," Major said after listening to one nearby resident complain about his windows vibrating until 3 a.m. on the weekends.

The council will re-evaluate the permit for Perlita's in three months.

The group also unanimously approved the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging's request to waive the monthly rental fee of Jim Barnett Park's Active Living Center for six months.

Councilman Evan Clarke said he stood by his comments from the last work session,
during which he expressed concern about financially aiding an agency that has been less than upfront with the council in the past. However, he said he supported the waiver because he believes the SAAA's work is valuable and should continue.

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