Bayfront Residents Need to Learn to Love Where They Live

After a bit of a back and forth at Wednesday’s Naples City Council meeting, Charles Mereday’s new jazz club/restaurant Alto got conditional approval for live music pending a formal engineer study.

As the Naples Daily News reported, the agreement was sort of a truce between the restaurant, the council and the members of the Bayfront condo association, whose residents live above the commercial district where Alto is located.

This is just the latest in a long line of music-related noise complaints filed by folks from Bayfront who seem to have forgotten that they bought into a mixed-use development.

The whole point of these developments, which also include Mercato, Coconut Point and to some extent Fifth Avenue South, is to simulate a more urban environment among the more typical Southwest Florida sprawl. But while residents of Bayfront, and the areas surrounding Fifth Avenue South, have come to appreciate the convenience of walking downstairs for a nice restaurant meal or an evening cocktail, they don’t seem to like the idea that these businesses cater to people who don’t want to live their lives like they are in a library.

These more urban environments are meant to bring in the masses, to get them to part with their money for food, drink, goods and—gasp—entertainment. But frequently Bayfront, whose association was behind the curtailing of a good portion of Rockin’ on the Bay’s programming, forget that the businesses don’t exist solely for their convenience.

Although the Daily News story quoted all parties as happy with the compromise, which will be formally voted on in May and limits live music to no more than six performers and no later than 11:30 p.m., the history of Bayfront suggests that this isn’t the last we’ve heard of this.