Home The Foundry owner challenges ‘noise,’ working with city leaders for more clarification

The Foundry owner challenges ‘noise,’ working with city leaders for more clarification

Crystal Graham
lanman basic city foundry waynesboro
Courtesy The Foundry, social media

Bart Lanman opened an 800-person music venue in the City of Waynesboro in March. The Foundry, co-located with Basic City Brewing Company, is facing some unforeseen challenges since it opened its doors.

A big challenge has been so-called “noise” associated with the venue which is located in a primarily commercial area on the East End of town in the shadow of the historic Virginia Metalcrafters building.

Scattered among the businesses on the East End are dozens of smaller homes.

Lanman said that he’s still trying to get clarification on the noise ordinance in Waynesboro. His understanding was that the noise ordinance in place now wouldn’t affect businesses, and he’s learning the hard way, that while businesses are exempt in many ways, they are not exempt from noise after 10 p.m.

“After the noise ordinance was ratified. we received a ‘warning’ for noise violation at 11 p.m.,” Lanman said.

Lanman said after a warning, he is subject to a misdemeanor for any additional issues.

“Ultimately, I want to remain an upstanding citizen that cares significantly about the future of Waynesboro rather than potentially perceived as a vigilante that has taken-up on the outskirts of town,” Lanman said.

The Foundry has recently changed the start time for several upcoming shows so the concerts can wrap up earlier due to the City’s noise ordinance.

Waynesboro City Manager Mike Hamp confirmed to AFP that the noise ordinance in the City was updated in the last 12 months. Hamp is working to provide AFP with more information next week.

AFP covered similar noise-related growing pains when Staunton expanded to offer more nightlife downtown with people living in apartments nearby.

Lanman said that he has spoken with members of Waynesboro City Council to try to quantify “noise,” and they have been very receptive to the conversation and potential solutions. He said he also understands that law enforcement has to act according to current laws and regulations and issuing his business a warning is just them doing their job.

However, he said, as the regulation stands now, “it is way too subjective.”

“As a business owner, I need a more scientific approach to manage ‘noise.’ For instance, quantified in decibels,” Lanman said.

Houses adjacent to Basic City Beer Company and The Foundry deal with traffic on the road regularly. Lanman said that a car driving by averages about 60 decibels. He said that they have measured the “noise” coming from The Foundry, and it measures 60 decibels at the closest house.

“The ordinance is just too vague,” Lanman said. “And ultimately will impact our ability to do the business we have set out to do.”

Lanman is asking the City to revise the noise ordinance for businesses – specifically those who are open after 10 p.m. – and provide manageable criteria.

“We are in the business of creating economic viability and dynamic for Waynesboro and the community around,” he said. “It has always been our intention to be good neighbors and be a part of the cultural experience of our local community.”

Lanman is optimistic that his business can work with City leaders to find common ground.

“Waynesboro and the community in general have been very supportive over the last seven years,” Lanman said. “We continue to grow together. Our growth has introduced new opportunities for the city to consider and for the community to enjoy.”

Lanman said the business will follow City regulations – but they need to be “reasonable” and clearly defined.

“That is why we are asking for the City to work with us to revise this noise ordinance from a somewhat subjective definition of ‘noise’ to a more quantifiable, measurable definition of noise,” he said.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.