2018-07-26 / News

Council OKs acoustic music at Village Hearth

BY TIM RIEL

Live music will be allowed at the Village Hearth Bakery on a trial basis, the town councilors decided at their July 16 meeting.

“It won’t be much different than having the radio on,” Councilman Gene Mihaly said.

The council endorsed the request with three caveats per Ed Mello, police chief. First, the bakery must play acoustic instruments that are not amplified. Also, music must be played indoors with no outdoor speakers. The doors, however, can be open during these performances.

According to owner Doriana Carella, the plan is to have sporadic jam sessions during pizza nights at the bakery, which is on the corner of North Road and Watson Avenue. The business only fires its ovens for pizza during weekends, and music will be silenced by 7:30 p.m.

“It’s very low-key,” she said.

While the measure was unanimously approved, two councilors did indicate concerns. Blake Dickinson recalled problems with music at the former Portuguese Americans Citizens Club, which was less than a mile from the bakery. Even though music was confined indoors, neighbors complained about the “muffled sounds.”

Council President Kristine Trocki mentioned the busy playground and arts center across the street. The live music, coupled with the decision in June to allow beer and wine at the bakery, could attract increased traffic, posing a safety hazard and creating a parking “nightmare.”

“We don’t see it as a nightmare at all,” Carella said.

Town Administrator Andy Nota, however, rebuffed her claim.

“Based on how much time I’ve spent on this issue, there is an issue that exists,” he said. “If there was no issue, I wouldn’t have spent so much time on this.”

The problem, Mello said, is parking is not allowed on the south side of Watson Avenue. Unlike the congestion problem on the north side of Hamilton Avenue near Mackerel Cove, which requires a resident sticker, Watson Avenue is restricted because of the narrow road. Mello said his officers cannot continue to give warnings to bakery customers who park illegally for 10 minutes so they can grab a coffee.

“There’s only so many times we can walk into an establishment and ask people to move their cars,” he said. “These parking regulations are in place for safety reasons.”

Carella vowed to continue educating her customers about the parking difficulties in the area. Along with signs inside the bakery and at the entrance, there is a thorough description of the parking issue on her website.

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