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Millers Island restaurant held in contempt for zoning code violations

A Millers Island restaurant has been found in contempt of a court order that forbids it from playing live music or karaoke, illegally morphing into a nightclub.

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert N. Dugan ordered lawyers for both sides to schedule a hearing to determine appropriate sanctions against Dock of the Bay.

The judge’s Oct. 25 ruling seemingly ends a years-long legal fight between the restaurant and its neighbors. The contempt hearing came after the Court of Appeals affirmed in July that Dock of the Bay violates the county zoning code by turning into a nightclub when it offers live music and karaoke. The appellate court upheld county administrative rulings that Dock of the Bay meets six of the eight criteria for nightclubs set out in commentary to the county building code.

Dugan also ruled that a Court of Appeals decision from May that overturned the county liquor board’s attempt to ban outdoor music had no impact on the zoning matter.

The restaurant’s owner said during a circuit court hearing last month that Dock of the Bay stopped playing outdoor music in September.