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News / Clark County News

Madore, Mielke at odds over wineries

Commissioners split over time to end amplified music

By Erik Hidle
Published: July 23, 2013, 5:00pm

A partial board of Clark County commissioners failed to finalize a wineries ordinance Tuesday as the board’s two Republican commissioners came down on opposite sides of the issue.

The wineries ordinance has been in dispute for some time now as commissioners have wrestled with the question of what time is too late for amplified music in the rural areas of Clark County.

In June, the board tentatively adopted an ordinance to limit amplified music to 7 p.m., but backlash from the community saying that was too early caused the board to halt approval and bring it back for further discussion.

Commissioner David Madore said Tuesday he wants to see the time limit set at the same standard the state uses — no noise between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Madore said his reasoning for the less stringent noise rules is set them at “the same standard as anyone else in the county has.”

Commissioner Tom Mielke countered that property owners’ rights must come into play along with economic considerations for wineries.

“I’m still having a problem saying in a rural area, where I live, that it’s OK to make noise hour after hour after hour,” Mielke said. “I’m still having issues with going to 10 (p.m.)”

And after a failed compromise introduced by Mielke to bring the cutoff on amplified noise to 9 p.m., commissioners agreed they were at an impasse.

To resolve the matter, commissioners extended the public hearing to Tuesday when Commissioner Steve Stuart, a Democrat, can serve as the deciding vote.

That will be a new role for Stuart on this board, which changed direction in January when Madore took office. Stuart has been outvoted on several matters in recent months, including Madore’s election promises to reduce parking fees at parks and cut fees for developers.

The lone Democrat on the commission has found common ground with Mielke on minor issues, and during board time discussions. But Stuart and Madore typically find themselves principally opposed to one another on issues facing the county.

Stuart, who was out of the county to attend a state meeting of the Public Works Board on Tuesday, said he wouldn’t comment on how he intends to vote when contacted by phone.

And while he’s staying mum on the topic, Stuart did indicate last week that he believes the original deadline on noise — 7 p.m. — was too strict.

Commissioners will meet again on the issue at 10 a.m. July 30 at the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

Erik Hidle: 360-735-4547; http://twitter.com/col_clarkgov; erik.hidle@columbian.com