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Turn down the volume: North Myrtle Beach passes first reading to limit ‘vulgar’ music

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:51 AM EDT
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The city of North Myrtle Beach is trying to get Main Street businesses to turn it down a bit.

City leaders passed the first reading of a new noise ordinance geared toward keeping the beach “family friendly.”

The city says it has received several complaints about vulgar music late at night from one business on Main Street, making some visitors uncomfortable. Leaders did not share which business brought about the concern, but the mayor hopes all businesses in the city can take this into account so everyone can have a good time.

”We have not had near the complaints that we had last year,” said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley.

The city has enacted three ordinances geared toward short term rentals just before the start of the summer. One had to do with trash, another parking and the last was related to noise.

The noise ordinance banned music that could be heard off someone’s property after 11:00 p.m. Hatley says that ordinance has helped with the number of complaints, but the city is still getting plenty of complaints about obscene music on Main Street.

“Everyone has a right to listen to any kind of music,” said Hatley. “We don’t feel that you have a right to force that music onto others, especially families with small children.”

Therefore, the city proposed changing the ordinance to put harsher restrictions on vulgar music. It would also put the noise ordinance into effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but with varying degrees of decibel levels depending on the time of day and profanity level of the music.

One Main Street business tells me they see police with decibel guns frequently checking. In fact, they say they use their own decibel guns to make sure they are not getting too loud.

“People love to come here on vacation and we love to have them here,” said Hatley. “We don’t want them leaving if they don’t feel comfortable bringing their children here.”

It is worth noting that although the ordinance specifically references the issue on Main Street, it would apply to all businesses and homes city-wide.

The amended ordinance passed its first reading unanimously on Monday. It will be back on the agenda next month, where the city council can choose to make it law.

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