Triple digits show for noise issue

Article Published: Jan. 19, 2012 | Modified: Jan. 19, 2012

Music lovers continued the conversation Tuesday on a hotly contested noise ordinance.

Though the issue is not on the Boone Town Council’s agenda again until February, at the start of each regular council meeting, 15 minutes are allocated for anyone to speak on non-agenda items.

More than 20 people signed up to speak, most in opposition to a proposal that includes capping sound levels at 65 dBA when measured up to 10 feet outside the source’s property line between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Speakers Tuesday feared the “low” levels would “kill live music” in downtown Boone.

“Freedom of speech is a constitutional right that cuts to the very core of the most important rights in our citizenship,” the first speaker, Bob de Camara, said. “What citizenship right is next at risk?”

Galileo’s Bar & Café owner Mark Dixon, who was among the sparse crowd at the special meeting on the topic last week, said the proposed decibel limits wouldn’t just hinder his venue.

“We will go out of business,” he said. “All of us will.”

Appalachian State University professor Mike McKee also spoke in opposition, saying the ordinance should be applied to specific zoning areas. “If a person chooses to move into a business area, then they are accepting the noise levels that exist,” he said.

Additionally, two people spoke out in favor of noise restrictions, including Grand Boulevard resident Terry Taylor.

“I think there is a lot of misinformation,” he said. “I suspect a lot of people here have been misinformed and believe the music venues will have to close.”

Other towns, he said, have ordinances and keep music alive. “Be careful to not let a mass hysteria affect your judgment too much,” he said.

Action on the new proposal could be taken at the February town council meeting.

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