Loud Music Rattles Hilton Head RV Park
Music coming from a Hilton Head Island, S.C., nightspot has irked residents at a nearby RV park so much that they've filed more than 40 complaints with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office over the past four months, according to sheriff's office reports.
Prana International has received four disturbing the peace tickets, large fines for noise violations and has had several confrontations with residents of the RV park, Outdoor Resort, located across the street, according to theislandpacket.online.
The dance club opened in late August. The first complaints were called into the Beaufort County Dispatch Center days before its official opening, while initial sound checks were taking place.
The complaints haven't stopped since.
Residents of Outdoor Resort say the bass from the club rattles campers and keeps them awake some nights until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. when the club closes.
Helen Thiboult said the double-pane windows of her 38-foot Rambler camper shake so violently she's afraid the glass might break or crack.
"We don't know what to do," she said. "We're not a bunch of old fuddy-duddies that complain because they don't like the music. It's just so loud we're left with no other options."
Amir Bitton, one of the club's owner, said he's willing to work with the campers.
He said he's spent more than $2,000 on sound-proof sliding glass doors and insulation foam in hopes the complaints will stop. He said club owners have tried to curb noise coming from the parking lot at night, but some of the noises, such as laughing from people who've been drinking, come with the dance club business.
Bitton already has paid a $550 fine for disturbing the peace and violating the town's noise ordinance for music rising above 65 decibels outside the club. Another case against the club scheduled to be heard in Hilton Head Municipal Court includes three noise violation citations. In that case, Bitton could face 30 days in jail, the maximum penalty.
"I don't want to go to jail," he said. "I'm just a businessman trying to make a living, and I want to resolve this with them. I am licensed to be here. I have a right to be here, but I want them to be happy."
Russell Knisley, who owns one of the 401 lots in the RV park, said he's a former business owner and isn't trying to hurt Bitton's efforts.
"It's inconsiderate," Knisley said. "It's not every night; some nights they're fine and we can sleep. That's all we're asking — for every night to be quiet and reasonable."
Octavio Campo, another of the club's owners, said the inconsistency in complaints is the crux of the problem.
"We want to do right, but we don't know what is wrong," he said. "Some nights we'll get some complaints and some nights we won't, and nothing has changed."
The only thing the two groups could agree on is that the sheriff's office deputies' time could be better spent on other calls. But residents said they have no choice but to continue to file complaints if the bass from the club keeps them awake at night.
Some Outdoor Resort residents said they plan to take their case to the Hilton Head Town Council.