ORLANDO, FL - Most people pay to go to the opera, but for some Downtown Orlando residents, they get a free concert daily. The opera music is coming from outdoor speakers at the 7-Eleven convenience store at Rosalind and Central.
“I can hear it so loud I can’t sleep,” said Cathy Karabag, Downtown Orlando resident, “it’s just so high pitched and I think it’s because of that, the sound just resonates and carries.”
Cathy Karabag lives on the eleventh floor of a high-rise, diagonal from the store. She said she could be inside her apartment, with doors closed, her television on and can still hear the sopranos singing.
“My livelihood and the livelihoods of my friends and neighbors that live in this building is being impacted,” said Karabag.
They aren’t alone. Staff at the Embassy Suites across the street from the 7-Eleven said hotel guests are complaining about the music and requesting room changes.
It turns out, the store shouldn’t even have the speakers, to begin with. The City of Orlando has confirmed that the shop does not have a permit for outdoor speakers and has been cited twice. The city is requiring the owner to get a permit or remove the speakers by the end of February.
We went to the 7-Eleven to find out what’s going on. The manager told us that the music is being used to keep transients away. When asked about the permit, we were referred to a corporate contact who had not responded at the time this article was published.
“I understand their concern but we all deal with our situations in different ways, maybe they need to hire a security guard to keep people from congregating outside their business,” said Karabag.
The city is now monitoring the store to make sure volume levels are under city required decibel levels. The owner will have to appear before the code enforcement board for being a recurring violator. The meeting is March 11 and residents are invited to attend to express concerns.