Legal battle brewing in Shockoe Bottom noise complaint case - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Legal battle brewing in Shockoe Bottom noise complaint case

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A big relief for some people in Shockoe Bottom who are now in a legal battle to force a night club to keep the volume down.

We first told you about noise complaints against MoFauzy's lounge last month. Since then, a civil lawsuit has been filed. Yesterday, the night club agreed to keep it quiet, but that doesn't mean this case is over.

A scheduled injunction hearing didn't happen. Instead, MoFauzy's voluntarily agreed to pull the plug on outdoor music. People who've complained about the noise say they can now rest easier. But tell us this legal battle isn't over.

Cheryl Bursch's patio faces MoFauzy's Lounge. Bursch said it's not the view, but excessive noise that bothered her.

"It was to the point that you couldn't carry on a conversation. We couldn't have company over, couldn't hear the TV," said Bursch.

She's happy MoFauzy's came to an agreement with Main St. Realty which owns the Canal Walk Lofts where she lives.

A consent order filed in Richmond Circuit Court states MoFauzy's will voluntarily cease and desist from having outdoor concerts and performances until both parties mutually agree to modify the order.

"I certainly don't have any desire to see any business go out of business just try to work with the community they are with," said Bursch.

A civil lawsuit, filed a week ago by Main St. Realty, alleges $350,000 in loss of rental income as a result of the noise.

"If they can prove the use of the club, the noise generated by the club, does in fact rise to the level of a nuisance, then they must also prove they are in fact sustaining this kind of damage," said NBC12 legal analyst, Steven Benjamin.

We first told you about complaints against MoFauzy's May 26th. At the time, the club manager told NBC12, people living in an entertainment district should accept the noise.

The next day, the city issued a violation notice against the club and ordered it to fix the problem. Under city code, music or a PA system should not be heard beyond the boundaries of a premises.

Brian Thomson can see MoFauzy's from his bedroom and up until recently says the music rattled his windows.

"I just wish there was more respect for everybody else who was living here also," said Thomson.

He said he's surprised MoFauzy's voluntarily pulled the plug on outdoor concerts.

"I hope it's a negotiation in play," said Thomson.

MoFauzy's was given thirty days to appeal the city code violation. Attorneys in the civil matter haven't returned our calls, but Bursch said the lawsuit is still in play and attorneys for Main St. Realty are seeking a permanent injunction against MoFauzy's. 

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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