The Orono City Council on Monday tabled proposed changes to close a loophole in the city’s rules regarding special events after pianist Lorie Line held shows at her Lake Minnetonka house last year.
The proposal would require a special event permit for a home that hosts four or more such events a year.
The council now plans to discuss how to revise the special event policy.
“It sounds like we’re trying to be big brother essentially” and monitor parties at people’s houses, City Council Member Victoria Seals said at Monday’s meeting.
Some residents spoke out against the proposed changes, saying they would be impossible to enforce and would dictate whether things like real estate open houses or dinner parties might be allowed.
Last summer, when Line started hosting recitals at her home, some neighbors complained to the city about extra traffic and lack of regulation.
Line and her husband, Tim, who have lived in Orono for nearly 30 years, said then that concerns were overblown about the parties, which they said drew about 40 people shuttled from an off-site location.
“We don’t want to be in the business of monitoring parties,” Jeremy Barnhart, Orono’s community development director, told council members. “But when your event impacts your neighbors that can’t be addressed … there should be some protection for the neighborhood.”