On Feb. 19, San Marcos City Council voted 7-2 to ban live outdoor amplified music from Zelicks Icehouse, the popular patio bar west of the downtown square.
Zelicks, at 336 W. Hopkins St., had received approval of its three-year conditional-use permit on Dec. 11, but neighbor Berry James and his wife, Brenda Smith, appealed because of concerns that the permit allowed the bar to play live music until 11 p.m.
Seth Katz, co-owner of Zelicks with his brother Chase, told City Council that Zelicks will always comply with city ordinances, keeping music at 85 decibels or lower.
"Whether it is outdoor, indoor, live amplified music or a deejay, Zelicks will still comply," Katz said. "It's time to back up Zelicks as professionals and let us run our professional business."
Councilmen Jude Prather and Ryan Thomason opposed the motion to deny the music. At a future meeting, City Council must take a second vote to give final approval for the three-year permit.
James, who owns the Young Building across the street, said his multiuse office building cannot be used at night because the bar is too loud.
Zelicks' permit had been on hold during a dispute with neighbors Mike and Kathy Dillon, who own the bed and breakfast Crystal River Inn next door, but the two parties had come to an agreement in December. After the parties reached the agreement, city staff inserted the rules about live music into the permit.
"We were under the assumption they never wanted amplified music," Kathy Dillon said. "It will totally destroy 29 years of business."
Councilman John Thomaides said he would not vote on something that would harm Crystal River Inn.
"They were there 29 years ago. It's hard when they are trying to put heads into beds with music next door," Thomaides said. "We're here to make sure both businesses survive and thrive."