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Bluffton Town Council Votes on Noise Ordinance

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BLUFFTON, S.C. -

It looks as though the Bluffton Town council has made a decision on what to do regarding its noise ordinance.

After months of dealing with complaints over the noise levels here in old town, the town council decided last night that only slight changes would be made to its noise ordinance. But they hope its enough to make both sides happy.

"Music is part of downtown Bluffton," said Brendan Downey, neighbor.

Downey lives near downtown Bluffton and frequents the many businesses there, and says that music helps drive people to the area.

"I mean as you see right now, business is booming in downtown Bluffton, and we got people down here on the streets right now shopping."

And it seems music will stay, thanks to last night's first vote to allow music seven days a week, as long as its over at 10pm and under 60 decibels. A move mayor Lisa Sulka says needed to happen.

"Its noises, sounds, music, it doesn't matter whether it comes from a car or a guitar, the decibel is good way to start it. So we gave the police something to be able to work with."

While council understands the complaints, its also about economic development.

"That's a mixed-use area and some of the people that have been upset have been there a long,long time, and I listen to them, some of them moved in after all of this started, and they have to understand that they moved into a mixed use area, a very popular area."

For Downey, he says this decision will help keep a vital piece of Bluffton's culture in tact.

"I mean as you can see behind me there's the stage in front of the Dispensary, Vineyard 55 over there, they always have someone on the front porch strumming the guitar,you know it brings ambience, and what people need to have for the culture of downtown Bluffton."

Council will still have to have a second and final reading on the changes at its meeting next month, but mayor Sulka is confident this is the direction they will go in.

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