When the Katy Trail Ice House opened two years ago, it was an immediate hit with the young professionals and SMU students who populate the Uptown area. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, they come for the basketball-sized beers and stay for the decidedly frat-like atmosphere.
The complaints started flowing as soon as the beer did. They've mostly come from residents of the adjacent Park Towers Condos, who say that the noise that wafts across the Katy Trail is unbearable. They've called police. They've contacted city officials. They even filed a complaint with the TABC. And they've gotten nowhere.
In a last-ditch attempt to get something done, a condo resident -- I didn't catch her name -- detailed her concerns to the Dallas City Council this morning.
Neighbors have tried everything, she said. A year or so ago assistant city manager Joey Zapata and Jim McKissick, a district code manager, visited the condos at 11 p.m. on a Friday night with a decibel meter and determined the noise levels exceeded that allowed by city code, she said. Neighbors later commissioned an independent report from an acoustics firm that came to the same conclusion.
The woman called the noise "intolerable and unbearable," and said it spoils residents' enjoyment of their homes and terraces, which she says were a major selling point for the development and the envy of Turtle Creek. "Nobody on the south side uses their terrace at this point, even in the penthouse."
For the record, the owners of the Katy Trail Ice House say they have spent two years trying to allay neighbors' concerns and that it's only a small minority of neighbors, like the woman who visited the City Council, who continue to complain.
Co-owner Joe Tillotson called after this post was originally published to point that out, noting that the beer garden is on the site of a former swinger's club.
"We think we've brought a lot to that neighborhood, and we think we've made it a better place,"
He also takes issue with our characterization of his business as "decidedly frat-like," a description that has been used as a slander against the establishment by angry neighbors and isn't accurate.
Her plea for got a sympathetic hearing from City Council members Angela Hunt and Sandy Greyson, who.each pledged to take action.
"I'm really troubled to hear that there was such a violation of the decibel restrictions," Hunt said, suggesting she might be able to help broker a solution as she did on Lower Greenville. "It might be most productive [for me] to meet with our assistant city manager and figure out a course of action and bring that to you guys."
Greyson, who said she's dealing with a similar issue in her Far North Dallas district with music from a venue on Preston Road, suggested a tweak to the development code to make noise restrictions easier to enforce. "I'll get with Ms. Hunt and whoever else we need to get to tackle this," she promised.
"That would be so wonderful," the woman gushed, clearly ecstatic. After all, it's good to have Greyson and Hunt on your side in a neighborhood squabble.
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We've been talking to them for a couple of years to be good neighbors. We're proeprty owner
We have heard from hundreds
(unfair characterization of our business)...certainly this business that I'm .... In our world ...