Let the music play in our arts district


We disagree with the Carmel Board of Public Works’ recent decision to deny Detour – An American Grill’s request to close Second Avenue NW in order to host an Indy-car Pole Day party last week. A family oriented event. Yes, bands could have played into the night. Gasp!

At the root of the decision were a slew of noise complaints in 2012. Again, in 2012. Mayor Jim Brainard told us that our cover story (Current, May 14) had a subjective statement in it, that if Detour were to close it would adversely affect the Arts & Design District, “which continues to have issues attracting businesses.” That part was incorrect, so we apologize. Brainard cited more than 200 businesses in the district, an at-capacity Indiana Design Center, Sophia Square and Barrett and Stokely apartments fully leased as well as Old Town Design Group building new homes inside the arches. Can’t dispute that.

It is our opinion that the events Detour wants to make available are lively – OK, noisy to some – but represent the true essence of what the district should be. No, certainly not Broad Ripple, but a beehive of activity … which it most certainly is not. It’s why we located here, to be a part of the vibrancy (that does not yet exist). Except for the Carmel International Arts Festival and the gallery walks, our take is that the district offers no real hum, buzz or magnetism. Yes, people frequent the art galleries and shops, but there is a paucity of live entertainment. As to the noise component, this is a district in the heart of a city! We truly believe residents should have braced for occasional decibel increases when they decided to locate in the district.

In the end, what exactly is the vision? Roll up the sidewalks at 9 p.m. and go quaint and cozy? That would be a horrible decision.