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Cornelius News

Neighbors still sounding off about sounds

Oct. 27. Dave Vieser. The Cornelius Town Board last week unanimously approved reducing the permitted maximum sound level from 100 dB to 90 dB but, based on social media comments over the weekend, some people still aren’t happy.

The Commissioners have been tinkering with the correct level to limit sound in the town for months, and numerous complaints surfaced late Saturday evening on sounds coming from Boat Yard Eats (BYE) on Hwy. 21.

“It’s a delicate balance between local entities and our residents,” said Town Planning Director Wayne Herron.

Thousands of BYE music fans are happy. And the long-dormant property now vibrates with activity.

“Essentially, what we are going to try to do is find a middle ground, as hard as that may be to do,” Herron said. “It’s not just a Cornelius problem…Asheville is going through a similar issue right now with their microbreweries.”

Officials from both the town and BYE admit that finding the proper maximum sound level is a difficult issue to pin down as weather and atmospheric conditions can also effect how far sounds travel. For example, Saturday night’s weather featured rain with a very low ceiling.

“We’ve installed thousands of dollars of soundproofing material behind the stage,” said Clint Robins, BYE’s talent manager.  “But we will certainly look at every avenue which could help this situation further. We do respect our residents’ concerns.”

Finding the proper maximum sound level is difficult to pin down as weather and atmospheric conditions can also effect how far sounds travel. For example, Saturday night’s weather featured rain with a very low ceiling.

Although most of the noise complaints have been directed at BoatYard Eats (BYE) some residents living near the Elevation Church on West Catawba Avenue say the volume of the music is unnecessarily elevated as well.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Miltich made the motion to cut the sound limit at the Oct. 21 meeting. “We had many complaints the weekend of Oct. 12-13 and after reviewing limits used by other municipalities we felt that lowering the cap was appropriate.”

His fellow commissioners concurred with the proposed change, but all admitted the effort was still a work in progress.

That became quite evident over the most recent weekend as the social media lit up with complaints about the music coming from Boat Yard Eats.

Anita Wulf, who lived near the Rusty Rudder before it closed, was one of the residents who complained on Next Door. “I never heard music from the Rudder, even with the Tiki Bar. But the loud music has gotten bad at BYE. I’ve complained to the town. Don’t get me wrong,  I love the concept, and the food truck, it’s just the sound,” she said.

With the most recent change, the town’s sound ordinance caps the maximum permitted sound level outside of venues at 90 decibels between 10 am and 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 75 decibels between 9 pm and 10 am those same days. The 90 decibel allowance extends to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and on certain designated holidays.

Outgoing commissioner Kurt Naas, who opposed the 100 db level from the beginning, told his fellow board members: “I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.”

Naas will be leaving the board next month but the sound issue is likely to be heard for some time to come.

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