NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – The city of North Myrtle Beach on Monday passed an amendment to its noise ordinance that will put more restrictions on “obscene, vulgar and/or profane lyrics.”
The change makes it so music with obscene, vulgar, or profane lyrics cannot be played above 60 decibels from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and not exceed 80 decibels from 7:01 a.m. to 10:59 p.m.
According to Mayor Marilyn Hatley, city officials and staff have received numerous complaints about the noise level on Main Street and about the lyrics being obscene and vulgar. “When I say vulgar I mean it’s explicit, vulgar lyrics,” Mayor Hatley said.
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Earlier this year, the city passed a noise ordinance that would require all noise that can be heard off property to stop between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. The amendment adds to that.
Hatley said people do have a First Amendment right so this wouldn’t prohibit that type of music all together. “If you’re inside your building, you can play any type of music that you would like and anyone can go and listen to any type of music that they would like,” Mayor Hatley said.
According to the University of Michigan Health, 60 decibels can be compared to a normal conversation or background music. Sounds of 80 decibels can be compared to a window air conditioner, heavy traffic, or a power lawnmower.
Mayor Hatley said law enforcement will know how to gauge this.