Restaurant sues county

KONSTANTIN VENGEROWSKY/Clarendon Citizen - Owner Tammy Johndrow and her daughter on the deck where the outdoor music is played at Goat Island Restaurant and Lounge.
KONSTANTIN VENGEROWSKY/Clarendon Citizen - Owner Tammy Johndrow and her daughter on the deck where the outdoor music is played at Goat Island Restaurant and Lounge.

Owners of Goat Island Restaurant and Lounge have sued Clarendon County and are awaiting a hearing that will determine whether the county’s noise ordinance is unconstitutional, after a local judge issued a temporary injunction on June 29 that prevents county deputies from enforcing the ordinance at the business.

Owners John and Tammy Johndrow filed a lawsuit shortly after Memorial Day weekend, when according to Tammy Johndrow, the Sheriff’s Department had called and requested that they not play music after 10 p.m., or that she would be in violation of the noise ordinance. The Sheriff’s Department came out to the restaurant 24 times in the summer of 2010 due to calls about loud music, according to Johndrow’s affidavit. Sheriff Randy Garrett said that he could not comment on the matter until it is resolved in court, but that the department does respond to every call.

The residents who’ve issued noise complaints about the music from the restaurant say that all they want is peace and a chance to be able to sleep, without being disturbed in the middle of the night by the outdoor music, which the restaurant plays from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Fridays, and from 10 p.m.-12 a.m. on Saturdays.

“The Sheriff’s Department has been called continuously because that has been our only avenue to ask them to turn the music down,” said Jan Sharpe, a resident of Goat Island. “We don’t object to them having a successful business, but Goat Island is not just about Goat Island Restaurant and Lounge.”

John Johndrow said that the ordinance is not specific enough.

“I want to know what I’m in violation of,” he said. “If there was a noise dosimeter level in the ordinance, I would abide by it.”

The Johndrows said that they have been playing music outdoors since they bought the restaurant in 2000, and built a deck outside a year later. On special events, such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day, they said that they set up flatbed trailers with music outside. They said that because they are located in a rural area on the lake, that outdoor entertainment is their major source of attraction to their restaurant during the summer months.

Resident JoAnne McKenzie, who lives about four houses behind the restaurant, said that many of the residents of Goat Island are senior citizens, and have trouble sleeping when the music is played.

“They’re depriving us of our peace and quiet,” McKenzie said.

Resident Albert Galbreath, who lives right behind the restaurant, said that he has no problem with the music when it is kept inside, however he is disturbed by it being outside.

However, not all residents agree that the music is a disturbance.

J.P. Malone, who lives about three houses down from the restaurant said that the music is not a nuisance to him.

“I knew what it was when I moved down here, a bar and a restaurant,” he said. “I hear it sometimes but it doesn’t bother me.”

Dale Beck, who lives one house behind the restaurant, said that the outdoor music has never bothered her.

“It’s got to pass me before it goes to other people,” she said.

County Attorney David W. Epperson said that Judge George C. James, Jr., of the Third Judicial District Court, which includes Clarendon, Lee, Sumter and Williamsburg Counties, indicated that a hearing should be set as soon as possible to determine whether or not the ordinance is unconstitutional, until then a temporary injunction, preventing the Sheriff’s Department from enforcing the county noise ordinance at the restaurant is in effect. When issuing the injunction, James had said that the ordinance was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad because it “used language that fails to give sufficient notice as to what constitutes a violation,” and would also hurt the economic interests of the restaurant.


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If you live near railroad tracks, you are going to hear the train! Just saying....blame your real estate agent instead!

there is a difference about living next to a bar and restaurant and them blasting loud music outside after 10PM.
People have a right peace after 10PM. No one said they cant blast it indoors.
Only the Weekend Warriors want to play till dawn. It reminds me of the cowboy movies when they would come into town on paydays. The sheriff would have to put half of them in jail for fighting,drinking and being disruptive.

Loud music after 10PM is disruptive.

get the addresses of the weekend partygoers and play loud music and party next to their house-I bet they sing a different tune

Grow up peps get ear plugs or TV ears. It is only a couple of nights a week. Get real!

WAS THIS BUSINESS ALREADY THERE BEFORE THESE HOMEOWNERS AND THERE COMPLAINING CAME AROUND? I BELIEVE THEY KNEW EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING ON BEFORE MOVING THERE AND MAYBE THEY ARE JUST MAD BECAUSE THEY WANT TO RUN THE WHOLE RESORT AREA AND MAKE ALL THE RULES TO FIT JUST THEM!!!IF THEY WERE TO SWITCH PLACES WITH THE OWNERS OF THE GOAT ISLAND RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE, I JUST WONDER HOW THEY WOULD FEEL BEING TREATED THIS WAY AFTER SPENDING ALL THESE YEARS TRYING TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WHICH ALSO DRAWS BUSINESS TO THE OTHER BUSINESSES IN THE AREA!
I HAVE BEEN TO THIS ESTABLISHMENT AND IT WAS A NICE PLACE TO SPEND A WEEKEND!'
I THINK THESE PEOPLE DONT HAVE A LIFE SO THEY ARE LOOKING FOR THINGS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT,MAYBE THEY NEED TO TAKE UP A HOBBY SO THEY WONT BE SUCH BUSY BODIES CAUSING TROUBLE FOR OTHERS!!!

If you move to a resort expect kids on golf carts,people having fun, outdoor activities & music. If your old and don't like these things move to a retirement home!!!!!!!!!!!!

These homeowner's KNEW what Goat Island was when they moved there, so they need to just SUCK IT UP!
You don't hear of anything like this from the homeowners around Scarborough's, Lake View or any other place on the lake that plays music.
There are a handful of people at Goat Island who are doing everything they can to control what goes on down there! They are even trying to control the waterfront! They call the Sheriff's Dept. down there every chance they can for their pet peeve.
I think it's a shame that the resources of the Sheriff's dept are used for their personal agenda. I've seen 4 cars from the
Sheriff's dept come to Goat Island at one time because someone called to complain about music. So who was patrolling the rest of the county while they were all down there?
I think the drug dealers in this county and the break-ins in the lake area are a much bigger problem and the resources of the Sheriff's dept. should be used for that.

You don't like living near a Bar and Restaurant, and hearing people having a good time? MOVE!!!!!!