What is happening?

Currently, the city-wide zoning bylaw prohibits "amplified or electronic music (whether performed live or recorded), dancing or other forms of entertainment" on patios associated with restaurants and taverns, with the exception of "non-amplified acoustical music." 

As part of the music, entertainment and culture district strategy approved by city council on 21 March 2017, an amendment to the zoning bylaw to remove this prohibition will be coming forward to a future public participation meeting at planning and environment committee.

Update on 31 May 2017: the staff report recommending removal of the prohibition of amplified music, dancing and other forms of entertainment is now available. This report will be considered at planning and environment committee on 6 June.

There is a related staff report on temporary noise permits, which proposes a 70dbA maximum (measurement locations to be flexible, with a focus on sound-sensitive locations) and a time limit of midnight. This report will be considered by community and protective services committee on 5 June.

Why remove the prohibition from the zoning bylaw?

The existing prohibition prevents most restaurant and bar owners from having any kind of amplified music, dancing or other entertainment on their patios (other than acoustical music). Some restaurant and taverns owners, however, are allowed to do so because they did so before this prohibition was added to the zoning bylaw. They are grandparented.

The city regulates noise through the noise bylaw, which includes this general prohibition: "No person shall make, cause or permit an unreasonable noise, or a noise that is likely to disturb the inhabitants."

Rather than doubly-regulating sound on patios in both the zoning and noise bylaw, I believe we should remove the prohibition on amplified music, dancing and other forms of entertainment from the zoning bylaw and regulate noise in the noise bylaw.

I understand the concerns of residents who live close to restaurants and bars with patios. But I believe we can allow this kind of activity on patios while regulating noise through the noise bylaw.

We attempted to pilot this change in downtown and Old East Village last summer, but the zoning change was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. The temporary suspension of this part of the zoning bylaw expired before the OMB heard the appeal.

Proposed changes to the noise bylaw will be coming forward to a future meeting of strategic priorities and policy committee.

How can I help?

If you'd like to allow all restaurants and bars to have the option of amplified music, dancing or other forms of entertainment on patios, please sign this petition and spread the word to your friends and colleagues. You may also want to e-mail Chuck Parker, the planner on the file, at cparker@london.ca and/or members of the planning and environment committee at pec@london.ca.

I don't support this change! How can I stop it?

Please e-mail your comments to Chuck Parker, the planner on the file, at cparker@london.ca. You may also want to e-mail members of the planning and environment committee at pec@london.ca.

260 signatures so far

Will you sign?

Showing 247 reactions

  • signed 2017-05-12 11:52:44 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-12 11:45:34 -0400
  • signed 2017-05-12 10:38:13 -0400
  • signed 2017-05-12 10:27:35 -0400
  • signed 2017-05-12 09:50:55 -0400
    Music is fun. I would love to have “acoustic” music and a little dancing on patio if there’s enough rooms. “Amplified” music is just plain DISRUPTIVE – can’t hear your friends talk. Cut it back to “acoustic” and let’s support our local artists by asking them to play. As smoking is banned on patios, I have noticed that nobody uses the patios that much anymore.
  • signed 2017-05-12 09:39:24 -0400
    I and many hundreds of Londoners vehemently oppose this proposal. It will crush our quality of life, preclude toe use of our own patios, interrupt and preclude our sleep and decrease the value of our downtown homes!! Moreover it will cause (and has already caused) homeowners and taxpayers to leave the city – the exact demographic the city needs to be successful!
  • signed 2017-05-12 09:18:36 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-12 08:12:34 -0400
    elizabeth hodge
  • signed 2017-05-12 07:33:46 -0400
    Foolish, Footloose in London….
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-12 07:05:11 -0400
    Sign the petition to allow dancing and amplified music on patios in #ldnont.
  • signed 2017-05-12 07:04:50 -0400
  • signed 2017-05-12 01:41:52 -0400
    I support this fight against tyranny.
  • signed 2017-05-12 00:51:56 -0400
    Outdoor live music is not only joyous, it’s also good for the community and economy. Banning it makes no sense!
  • signed via 2017-05-11 23:52:11 -0400
    I do not support Jesse Helmer’s actions to remove amplified music on patios from the zoning by-law to the noise by-law. You should know that doing so inhibits citizen’s to challenge this initiated and defend their neighbourhoods for excessive and intrusive noise. This is an issue of NOT IN MY BACKYARD. If this proposal was in your neighbourhood chances are that you too would object because it is too intrusive. This initiative is CITY WIDE and it could be that you will own it as all restaurants in the city are entitled to patios and if a patio owner believes that late night patio music will encourages late night customers it could be your issue too. This initiative will allow amplified music at 90 decibels until 2 am every night. Jesse Helmer is being disingenuous AND has no evidence to show that it will increase economic benefits to the city or to anyone else. Just read this report from Western University http://www.stats.uwo.ca/faculty/mcleod/vita/pdf/AAP%20extended%20drinking%20hrs%20Aug%202%20test%202.pdf

    Jesse Helmer is uneducated on the issue and that is the last thing this city needs is another councilor who does not do his homework and bases city decisions on a whim or is politically motivated. Too lazy to learn the facts. This will hurt all of us. Just look at other cities. Toronto is currently updating their noise by to make stricter and enforceable. Toronto currently allows amplified music on patios but it cannot be heard beyond the property because it recognizes that residential property owners mush have the ability to have a quiet home. That is not what Jesse Helmer thinks.

    Don’t support Jesse Helmer. Any councillor that anger because citizen’s fought back is sore a loser. He is what he said last summer when citizen’s went to court challenging him -

    “I’m frustrated that we are not going to be able to have the experiment because I think we need to make the change on a longer term basis,’ says Helmer. “But I think some of my colleagues would like to see what the results of the experiment are before doing that and now we aren’t going to be able to do that because of these appeals.”

    Helmer believes the city should have selected a stronger path to implement the temporary changes.

    “It shows why putting in restrictions about music and dancing really shouldn’t be in a zoning bylaw in the first place. If we were to make a change to the noise bylaw which regulates noise all throughout the city, that’s not appealable to the Ontario Municipal Board,” says Helmer. “It’s pointing at one of the weaknesses at putting these things in zoning bylaws in the first place.”

    No one should be supporting a councillor who must go through the back door to get what he wants because he can’t get it by going through the front.
  • signed via 2017-05-11 23:49:13 -0400
  • signed 2017-05-11 23:30:13 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-11 23:20:57 -0400
  • @jarad_fisher tweeted link to this page. 2017-05-11 22:40:33 -0400
    Sign the petition to allow dancing and amplified music on patios in #ldnont. http://www.helmer.ca/?recruiter_id=68695
  • signed 2017-05-11 22:40:17 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-11 22:39:02 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-11 22:06:26 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-11 22:05:17 -0400
    Jessica Allossery
  • signed via 2017-05-11 22:00:27 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-11 21:41:02 -0400
    Sign the petition to allow dancing and amplified music on patios in #ldnont.
  • signed via 2017-05-11 21:07:30 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-11 19:44:08 -0400
  • signed 2017-05-11 19:36:48 -0400
    C’mon man….
  • signed via 2017-05-11 19:31:38 -0400
  • signed 2017-05-11 19:29:56 -0400
    Mike Sloan
  • signed 2017-05-11 19:26:55 -0400
    No music no smoking! They killed the patios. Their dead now. I’ve seen them go from packed to 1 or 2 people. We stopped going Out . Ridiculous & sad.