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Nov 17 2021

Kiawah Island Noise Ordinance Does Not Fall On Deaf Ears

By Theresa Stratford for The Island Connection 

It was a time to “sound off” on some amendments to the Kiawah Island noise ordinance at the Nov. 2 Town Council meeting. Because of the discussion brought up in the October meeting concerning the ordinance, Council directed Town Attorney Joe Wilson to look at the ordinance and suggest amendments. Wilson admitted that some of the wording is “awkward” and that he thinks making amendments will address some of the expressed concerns. “There is a summary that says that any sound cast upon community streets or upon the property of another is in violation, but then it reverses itself in the final sentence and says that this doesn’t apply to certain events,” Wilson said. Wilson suggested to streamline that passage and to just state the following: “Amplified sound between the hours of 11 p.m. and 10 a.m. is prohibited.” He reported to Council that this amendment would be in sync with what enforcement efforts have been. “We really need to just state what we mean, which is that amplified music must stop at 11 p.m.” Wilson also clarified to Council that there should be wording on subjective violations, as well as decibel level violations. “If you only had decibels, someone will be out there making noise at 69 decibels if the violation was set at 70 decibels.” Councilmember Maryanne Connelly said that she liked that there was no gray area. “It’s 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. and that’s it. I think that is very clear.” 

Councilmember Dr. Scott Parker added that Kiawah has a unique quality of being both residential and a resort, which drives the economy on the island. “Maybe a philosophical statement about that should be added to the noise ordinance as well.” 

Wilson was also directed by Council to add language that makes it clear that maintenance and construction activities will not be impacted by the 10 a.m. cutoff — after some discussion on whether that would be clear in the current noise ordinance. 

These amendments will be added to the current noise ordinance and presented to Council again at the December meeting.

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