Council should focus on commercial incentives


The underlying concern expressed in the South Whidbey Record’s editorial “Live music should continue at the Machine Shop,” is that the live music ordinance may be under review due to the complaints of three Langley residents.

This is surprising given the accompanying article reports that there have been no verified violations on the part of the Machine Shop. While it is understandable that live music is bothersome to the neighbors closest to the site, the tradeoff of hosting live music events is clearly beneficial to the City of Langley; it is not as if the boundary between commercial and residential has suddenly been redrawn.

The events are individually approved, of limited duration and on a predictable schedule. Most neighbor noise doesn’t come with these benefits.

The Machine Shop stands apart as a venue that provides music, art and entertainment to the kids of South Whidbey. City council efforts should develop incentives for the development of other commercial properties — many of which have stood shuttered for years. The city council’s time would be better spent on bringing more life to the city, not endlessly reviewing the behavior of an entrepreneur who has dared to do so.

Linda LaMar


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