The outdoor entertainment ranges from soloists to eight-piece jazz bands.
By LAURA MILOSER
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Owners of a Neshannock Township coffeehouse are seeking to continue outdoor musical entertainment.
Dan and Sandy Troxell, owners of the Coffee Grinder on Wilmington Road, have applied for a conditional-use permit for outdoor amusement and put up the $1,000 fee for the permit.
Complaints from township resident Thomas Burns in June prompted township supervisors to look into the legality of bands' playing outdoors at the coffeehouse. Subsequently, township Zoning Officer Jim Farris told the Troxells to halt the practice.
Sandy Troxell said the restaurant had started the outdoor music last summer after members from the New Castle High School jazz band approached the Troxells about playing at the coffeehouse.
Sandy Troxell said police were called to the first concert. Her husband spoke with township Police Superintendent Philip Carlo, who told him it was OK to have concerts if the bands quit by midnight and the music isn't too loud.
The bands play Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sandy Troxell said the bands range from a solo guitarist to an eight-piece group.
She said the main types of music played are blues and jazz, and the music attracts teenagers who are looking for a place to go.
Burns, who lives across Pa. Route 18 from the Coffee Grinder, commented to the township supervisors, "People in Neshannock Township are being held hostage because of these concerts."
Burns told the supervisors that the concerts at the Coffee Grinder are exceeding the recommended 90-decibel sound level stated in the township zoning code.
Sandy Troxell said she is willing to buy a decibel meter to ensure the concerts are within code.
Coffee Grinder customer Gary Moore said providing the music gives kids a place to go on Friday and Saturday. "It's not wild rock 'n' roll music. The bands they have are nice bands," Moore commented.
Township secretary Leslie Bucci said she forwarded the application for the conditional-use permit to Township Solicitor Richard Harper to ensure the application is complete.
A public hearing on the application will be scheduled in front of the supervisors, solicitor and a court stenographer. Bucci said it takes an average of 30 to 45 days for such hearings to be scheduled.