The fight to keep live music at Finding Fillmore's cafe in Kiama continues, with a small win for the venue.
Compliance orders had been issued to the Manning Street cafe due to a number of noise complaints, and a subsequent complying development certificate.
Last week a Development Control Order was slapped on the cafe, claiming owners had breached conditions of consent regarding noise and operated out of the permitted hours.
Owner Morgan Lewis met with Kiama Council CEO Jane Stroud and director Jessica Rippon on Friday, as Mr Lewis claimed the council were "ignoring legislation" that encouraged live music in cafes and restaurants.
"[They] have been unsupportive for two years now... it's been bit of a frustrating journey," he told the Mercury. "[But] the community support is very strong and coming from artists all around the country."
A petition launched via Change.org managed to collect 2100 signatures in three days, which impressed the council's bosses.
"A lot was discussed [at our meeting] and they are also blown away by the community standing so strong, it's a beautiful and powerful thing," Mr Lewis said.
"You will be very glad to hear Kiama Council has decided to seek legal clarification on their position and will get back to us as soon as they know more."
It's understood the imposition of the Development Control Order has been postponed until April 30 to allow the council to seek legal advice, while the business is allowed to operate as usual, including hosting seven gigs during the Kiama Jazz and Blues Festival this March.
A spokesman for Kiama Council said they had received at least 42 complaints against Fillmore's over nearly two years, from the same seven sources (between May 2021 to Feb 2023).
He said council staff had been working with the owner and stakeholders for "many months" to try and find solutions and "overcome any hurdles".
"Fillmore's is a valued and different space in our community, and we know many in our community love it," the council said in a statement.
At the same time Finding Fillmore's began operation, the new Harbourside Kiama luxury apartment complex was being completed next door at number 44 Manning Street. However, Mr Lewis said the majority of neighbours were "regulars" and greatly supported the cafe.
The battle between the entertainment industry and urban sprawl has been long documented, with many long-standing venues around Australia being forced to close or alter their operations in the past decade.
Sydney's famed Annandale Hotel moved away from live music for some time following an ongoing battle with council over noise complaints and late trading.
Another Sydney night-spot, Play Bar, closed after complaints from an upstairs tenant about noise which subsequently cost them $100,000 in legal bills, while lockout laws cut their trading hours at the same time.
Meantime, the famous Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane in inner-city Melbourne Lane nearly closed for good due to noise complaints from a new development on Flinders Street.