Baltimore County Council approves bill allowing live music at hundreds more restaurants

Despite criticism from Baltimore County Council members and residents last week, the council approved amended zoning changes allowing hundreds more restaurants to host live music.

Proposed by Democratic County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., the NOTE Act, short for New Opportunities for Tourism and Entertainment, will make certain businesses that make most of their money before 9 p.m. eligible for a permit to host live or recorded musical entertainment.

The bill passed by a 5-2 margin Monday night, with councilmen Todd Crandell and Izzy Patoka voting against it.

The NOTE Act is modeled after 2019 legislation that changed zoning rules in Arbutus and Catonsville. Beyond those southwestern towns, live music has been allowed only at nightclubs on property zoned for Business Major and Business Roadside use.

Residents who testified during a hearing on the bill last week had asked that it be amended to prohibit live music permits for restaurants within a specified distance of a home.

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