Noisy neighbors are a common complaint around San Marcos, but few have been as accommodating as Zelicks Icehouse.
According to a Jan. 17 University Star article, the bar's conditional use permit was appealed by Barry James and his wife Brenda Smith, both of whom practice law across Hopkins Street from Zelicks. The lawyers cited the volume of Zelicks' live music in their appeal, which city council approved.
Undoubtedly, blasting live music does not promote an ideal work atmosphere for the law office. However, Zelicks has hosted live music events a grand total of two times—hardly a regular offender. Although the occasional live music events may be bothersome for the lawyers, it would be difficult to find a San Marcos resident who has not had to deal with unruly neighbors at some point.
This is not Zelicks' first run-in with nearby businesses. In Feb. 2012, the bar was ordered by the city to resolve noise complaints with neighboring Crystal River Inn before its conditional use permit could be renewed. Zelicks obliged, spending approximately $10,000 on insulation for Crystal River Inn and reorganizing its outdoor parking and games to keep noise away from the bed and breakfast, according to the same University Star article.
Zelicks' owners, brothers Seth and Chase Katz, seem willing to cooperate on noise concerns and obey ordinances prohibiting loud music, live or otherwise, between certain hours. Most of the city's noisy residents likely would not spend $10,000 to improve the situation, especially when the improvements are for the complaining party's building.
It is unreasonable, then, for the law office to take a step as drastic as appealing Zelicks' mixed beverage permit, which is a major necessity for a business that relies on alcohol sales. Furthermore, alleging that live music is the main culprit is a blatant exaggeration on the lawyers' part—again, all parties involved agree such performances have only happened at Zelicks twice. There may be legitimate noise complaints to be resolved between the businesses, but live music is not one of them.
The blame for any inconvenience the situation causes ultimately rests not with Zelicks for being a bar or with the law office for being uptight. The blame lies with the city for zoning the area in such a way that allowed a bar next to a law office and a bed and breakfast. It is a shame the parties cannot agree, though, as patrons who habitually leave from long nights at the bar are more likely to need a lawyer and a place to sleep than the average resident.
The area in question on and around The Square depends on local businesses to keep its unique atmosphere and attraction. Zelicks, though noisy, is a successful business owned and operated by Texas State alumni who chose to keep their careers in San Marcos. Such businesses benefit the city's local economy and image and face enough difficulty in the current economic climate without other locals appealing their ability to do business.