Talking noise

Published 11:44 am Friday, August 14, 2020

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Saluda to look into current ordinance after complaints over bands

SALUDA—Some Saluda residents are asking city officials to control noise downtown.

The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from a couple of people who say loud music is a problem downtown, some saying it’s “unbearable.”

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Saluda Outfitter owner Ryan Griffin said he is limited and has tried to be accommodating with music. He said his concert venues continue to grow and he has been mindful to control the noise. The music normally stops by 9 p.m. and he has studied decibels to control the noise.

“I’ve worked with (city manager) Jon Cannon and the police officers and the mayor,” Griffin said.

Griffin said he reduced the decibels to 80 a couple of weeks ago and are trying to reduce that level to 70. He said short of shutting down his business, he does not know what else to do.

Commissioner Stan Walker asked if it is possible to lower the decibels to 70. Walker said the human voice is 65 decibels and the interstate is 98 decibels.

Walker offered suggestions on how to lower the frequency of drums, including placing something in front of them to absorb the noise.

Commissioner Mark Oxtoby said there have been loud bands there as he has heard them.

Griffin admitted there have been times they have been louder than they should have been but he is working on it.

One woman said most of the noise comes from drums and it’s “unbearable.” She said she appreciates the business stopping the music around 9 p.m. and said if the instruments are not amplified the city would appreciate that.

Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden said the city is getting more and more complaints and eventually city officials will get tired of complaints and cut out all the noise.

In the meantime, Baisden suggested trying to accommodate everybody. He said city officials do not want to restrict business and will be discussing the issue.

Cannon said part of what makes Saluda a thriving downtown community is it’s active music scene. He said Saluda is known for it now and advertise in magazines across the state.

“So is that part of what Saluda is?” Cannon asked.

Commissioner Bob Ross said he thinks the noise ordinance is something that needs to be looked at seriously. He asked Saluda Outfitters to tone it down as much as they can.

Ross said he knows officers are tired of being called and he knows Griffin needs to run his business. He suggested a group or the planning board working on the noise ordinance.