Archived Opinion

Surely there is a solution for noise dispute

op frHere’s hoping No Name Sports Pub and the town of Sylva can work out their differences on noise so that both get what they need.

As it stands now, the establishment has stopped booking live music because neighbors have complained that the bands and traffic are making too much racket late at night. According to town commissioners, they believe the bar and its owner are not complying with the town’s noise ordinance. 

Bar owner Gregg Fuller says he’s quit having bands outside and built a vegetative buffer to try and satisfy neighbors. Fuller also contends the ordinance is too vague and does not offer him a fair method of responding to complaints.

I’ve never been to the pub at 1:30 a.m. and listened to the noise from bands or the motorcycles. But if town zoning allows a nightclub at this location, then it seems certain allowances for what typically goes on at clubs should be allowed.

I think some stereotypes needs to be vanquished to the dustbin of history if this problem is to be solved. This isn’t the 1930s or even the 1960s, when taverns and nightspots were almost universally generally looked down upon by the good citizens of small-town America. 

No, this is 2015, a time when establishments that sell Western North Carolina-made beer — heck, even Sylva-made beer — and feature live music are celebrated as a unique and culturally significant part of this region. Check any tourist magazine that tries to attract people to the Smokies and local spirits and music are prominently featured. Go inside such places and you’ll find patrons from 21 to 71, and you’ll often encounter families with children.

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There are clubs all over this region and all over this country that feature live music. This is not a problem unique to Sylva and is not a problem of such magnitude that it should end up shutting down a viable business. Surely a solution can’t be that difficult to find.


The Wall Street Journal late Monday (Jan. 26) reported that [Google] was preparing to announce that it’s bringing its high-speed Internet service to Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Atlanta and Nashville in “coming days,” citing sources familiar with the situation.

… Google Fiber features speeds up to 100 times faster than broadband. Time Warner Cable and AT&T also have announced plans for similar services in Charlotte.

— The Charlotte Observer, Jan. 27

An announcement like that expected in Charlotte this week isn’t likely to happen anytime soon in the counties west of Asheville. In all likelihood we don’t have enough population and users to attract a new fiber network from companies like Google, AT&T or Time Warner Cable.

But there are companies that do serve rural areas, and the information currently being gathered by economic development officials about Internet service in our region is extremely important. Knowing what people need and what they would be willing to pay for high-speed connectivity is a key first step.

A committee of the Haywood County Economic Development Commission has developed a short survey that can be accessed at The information gathered from the survey will be used when EDC officials are in discussion with Internet service providers. Getting faster service throughout the county and in underserved areas is the goal. Getting survey results from those in Haywood’s rural areas is especially important.

“The biggest thing is we need addresses to plot on the map to show pockets of need so we can start to see what assets we can get in those directions. Then we can attract more providers — the more options we have, the less expensive it will be and the more bandwidth we’ll be able to get,” said Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone, who heads up the broadband committee.

The benefits of attracting Internet service providers is pretty obvious these days. One, most businesses want super-fast Internet and many require it. Secondly, getting Internet service in rural areas means those who work from home can live in Fines Creek or White Oak and still earn a living. Finally, families and school-age children who need service can be more connected to the community in which they live and the schools their children attend.

Take the short survey and do your part.

(Scott McLeod can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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