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Noise ordinance revisions will not be complete until next year

Saluda Council continues to hear complaints about music downtown

SALUDA—The City of Saluda continues to hear complaints about music downtown and says work on a new noise ordinance will not be complete by the end of the year. 

During the city’s November meeting, a public hearing was held, with mostly negative comments about noise. Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden said city officials were conducting a noise test on Nov. 15 in various areas around town and there will be other workshops prior to the city approving an amended noise ordinance to deal with the issues. 

The main issues seem to be coming from music that is being played at establishments downtown and outside. Some suggested that amplified music not be allowed outdoors. Others suggested a compromise, like amplified music only a couple days per week or no amplified music after certain times except for special occasions. 

Some residents said they could hear music being played from Ozone Drive and U.S. 176 from their porches and chalked it up to living near the city. But when windows started vibrating and it was for 3-4 hours long, some said it makes it unpleasant to even be inside their homes. 

Several people have talked about the vast topography of Saluda and how some sounds can be heard by some and others not. The idea of decibels has been discussed for some time as well by city officials. 

Other complaints have been made about construction projects beginning too early in the morning. 

But Lynn Casey said the noise ordinance could jeopardize events and John Morgan said when he moved to Saluda there was a train that rolled through. He suggested a compromise, including allowing things 1-2 times per week. 

Ellen Rogers said a sound test is a waste of taxpayer money and time. 

“The taxpayers are bearing the brunt of people coming into town,” Rogers said. 

She suggested, like the city did for building 20 years ago, placing a moratorium on the ordinance and just allow acoustic outside and electric inside while the city is investigating. 

Mayor Fred Baisden said the city will not see a decision made on this ordinance this year. 

“We’re not making a hasty decision,” Baisden said. 

“Do we have to suffer while y’all are going through that process,” Rogers asked. “I don’t understand why we have to suffer. They are saying you are restricting (their) business potential. They are restricting our quality of life.” 

Baisden said there will be more opportunities for people to participate over the next 2-3 months. 

“Not everybody is going to be happy,” he added.