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City Council cuts the volume downtown

City police officer Kenny Hipps takes a noise reading as city clerk Tammie Drake looks on. City police officer Kenny Hipps takes a noise reading as city clerk Tammie Drake looks on.

Turn it down, Hendersonville City Council members ordered Thursday night.

A week after a field trip to a second-floor residential condo to hear a simulation of loud nightclub music, the council voted unanimously to impose much lower noise levels downtown.
The allowable noise level is currently 70 decibels from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. and 60 decibels after 11. It will go down to 55 during the day and 45 after 11.
Council members said the demonstration last week at the home of Lisa and Gus Campano next door to what had been the upstairs performance space of T's Blue Note Grill proved to them that the current levels are too high.
"After the demonstration ...I would like to see the decibel lowered and measure taken at the wall" instead of 25 feet from the property line, as current law spells out, Councilman Steve Caraker said. "I'm not in favor of limiting activity in any space but I like to see the activity limited to allow people to enjoy their investment and to allow the business to do what they would like to do."
Caraker suggested that a nightclub could decide to rock on as loud as it wanted as long as they install soundproofing strong enough to prevent the noise from penetrating the walls to the neighbors."
As Caraker pointed out, the noise issue arose from the council's decisions on zoning in recent years. "We do things that support business and we do things that support second floor residential and we can't take a side," Caraker said.
Last week Campano played music through speakers in an adjoining office. He never got it as loud as the loudest level, 70 decibels, for fear of blowing the speaker. At 60, council members said, the level was almost unbearable in the room with speakers and still plenty loud in the residential condo on the other side of the thick brick wall.
"From sitting in that room with Steve I thought, Who in the world would ever possibly play their music this loud?" Smith said. "We were yelling at each other and we were this close."


T's Blue Note has closed but the building's owner, Stuart Rubin, has rented the space to Moe's Original Barbecue, a chain restaurant. The owner opening the Hendersonville location says he most likely will have bluegrass music on the small upstairs stage.