Last night the Elk Grove Planning Commission voted to approve a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the Sheldon Inn Restaurant & Bar to have amplified sound at their outdoor event area. The vote was 3-1. Commissioner Frank Maita recused himself due to business dealings with the Sheldon Inn owner, Jeffrey Adkins.
Last March the Sheldon Inn applied for the CUP with the city and a decision was postponed due to concerns from nearby neighbors. They were granted a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) and allowed to use amplified sound between March and the end of the year.
Planning staff and code enforcement worked with the Sheldon Inn to perform sound testing at several nearby sites. Details can be found on the staff report.
During the meeting several residents and community members spoke for and against the CUP. Ten people spoke in favor, five against and two were neutral but requested more restrictions. Concerns about sound, traffic and the number of potential dates were brought up. The original plan allowed for amplified music to be played between 10 am and 10 pm, 7 days a week, with the number of guests not to exceed 240 people. In addition to that, there would also be five “special event” days allowed per year with between 241-350 people. Planning Commissioners George Murphey and Mackenzie Wieser expressed concern with the number of available dates.
After the presentation and public comments, Sheldon Inn owner Jeffrey Adkins asked for time to speak to city staff and come up with a compromise. After a short recess Adkins agreed to limit the number of events between Monday and Thursday to 100 per year. Adkins also stated that weekday events are rare and unlikely that they would take place during the middle of the day.
During deliberations, commissioners Kevin Spease and Andrew Shuck voted in favor of approving the CUP. Both said that the Sheldon Inn had complied with all the requirements imposed and had worked with city staff to insure the sound levels did not violate the municipal code.
Commissioner Murphey commended the Sheldon Inn and city staff for all their work. He also brought up amending the city code regarding the noise levels. He said that in the end he could not support the CUP because of impacts on the neighbors in the area.
With the vote 2-1, it came down to Commissioner Wieser to make the final decision. Wieser spoke of attending the sound test and sitting in the home of one of the neighbors and feeling the beat of the music in her chest. She also commended the Sheldon Inn for working with the city and doing everything they were asked. Wieser voted to approve the project.