Mar 27, 2007

Dancing in the streets

Can cost you $5,000 a day in Pinal County, Arizona where a restaurant owner is being blamed for his patrons' dancing feet. Outdoor dancing, you see, is against the law in Pinal County.

But there's more to this story than meets the eye.
There have been no complaints against San Tan Flat for dancing, but both the county and Bell have received noise complaints about the live music. The restaurant has not been cited for noise because the volume has been within acceptable levels.

So the county got noise complaints, and my guess is that one of the complainers had some strong political pull (or else they would never have pursued it this far). Particularly since this is not a population-dense area, and there is little housing directly nearby (see Google satellite map, just click on satellite in the upper right to see all the surrounding, uh, dirt). I mean it's right next to an airport, for god sakes. Thus, wanting to satisfy what could only be a high-profile complainer, the county moved in and pulled out the rubber glove and gave the restaurant a good probing. And, since it is impossible to be in compliance with every stupid ordinance on the books (many conflict, so that you can't be in compliance) the city found something they thought they could make stick. The only issue I can't decode is whether they are trying to use this as a bargaining chip to get operating hour or noise level changes, or if they are using it a s a club to close the place down. It probably depends mostly on how much juice the key complainer has who is driving this.

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