New ordinance is music to ears of Jax Beach businesses

Change allows 'low volume sound' outdoors at businesses

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – More live outdoor music is likely coming to Jacksonville Beach after the City Council approved a new sound ordinance Monday night.

Before, businesses were not allowed to have any sound outdoors, not even volume up on a television.

But now, businesses can have low volume sound, whether it be an acoustic instrument or band, music from speakers or from a TV.

The sound is considered low volume as long as people can talk 3 feet apart without having to raise their voices.

The outdoor sound is allowed from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., and businesses have to apply for a permit through the city.

Every person News4Jax asked about it supported the new sound ordinance in Jacksonville Beach.

“It's awesome. The weather is generally pretty good here, so everyone wants to be outside,” Matthew Kelly said. “I think it's a great idea.”

Marian Fleeson and her 11-year-old son, Ethan, said they think it could help businesses because people enjoy music.

The new ordinance will be a one-year pilot program. City Councilman Phil Vogelsang said the city will review it after one year. He said the city can also bring the ordinance back up if police find it’s causing problems, but he expects it to be positive for the city.

Sue Oswald said she loves the idea.

“I think anything we can do to make Jacksonville Beach a destination for entertainment and food, drink, etc.” Oswald said. “I think it's going to help the economy and makes it a nicer place to live.”

The owner of the new Whiskey Jax in South Jacksonville Beach wrote a letter to the council before Monday night’s meeting that said in part:

“Please vote YES on the second ordinance reading tonight, so all small business owners can give the Jax Beach residents the experience they desire and we can stop losing business to Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach.”

He is one of many business owners who said they are thrilled about the new ordinance.