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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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December 4, 2013     Hays Free Press
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December 4, 2013
 

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Page 2A NE'I/$ Hays Free Press December 4, 2013 The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., 122 N. Main St., Buda, TX 78610. Periodicals postage paid at Buda, TX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. ISSN#1087-9323 NEWS TIPS If you think it's news, we probably do too! Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 E-mail: news@ haysfreepress.com Mail: 113 W. Center Street, Kyle, TX 78640 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person, firm or corporation which may appear in the pages of the Hays Free Press will be corrected upon being brought to the attention of the publisher. DEADLINES * The deadline for display advertising and any contributed news copy in the Hays Free Press is 5 p.m. Friday the week prior to publication. The deadline for Letters to the Editor and classified word advertising in the Hays Free Press is noon Monday the week of publication, though we encourage readers and advertisers to observe the Friday deadline. LETTERS GUIDELINES We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community interest. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not indulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verification. Letter writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb@haysfreepress.com. HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903, by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Kyle News, with offices on the corner of Burleson and Miller Streets in the town's oldest remaining building. It merged into The Hays County Citizen in 1956. The paper consolidated with The Free Press in October, 1978. During its more than 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. Buda to Main St.- turn it down BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com Complaints about music on Main Street forced the Buda City Council to take action. But their motion left a sour note for live music fans. In a 5-1 vote, with one ab- sence, the Buda City Council amended its noise ordinance, specifically lowering decibel (dB) levels from the previous mark of 80 to 70 during the day and 63 at night. "Night" was defned as 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. However, council chose to extend it to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The saga began in October, when the Buda Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission discussed amending the ordi- nance. Buda Police Chief Bo Kidd said in an emailed response that the department was aware of noise complaints regarding downtown businesses. On Nov. 12, the P&Z made recom- mendations re- garding the noise ordinance, with revised decibel levels. The com- mission defined night as 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Julie Renfro, owner of Nonna Gina's and Tavern on Main, said the P&Z failed to do its "due diligence" by not consulting business own- ers, leading to an "emotional reac- tion." On Nov. 19, the city council took up the measure, adding its decibel level ideas. City staff presented a third option, basing decibel levels on an existing Georgetown or- dinance. * Chance Sparks, Director of Planning, said Georgetown is similar to Buda, where residen- tial areas are close to down- town. The city would measure decibel levels at the property line of an establishment, home or workspace. Council unanimously chose [ NOISE LEVEL EXAMPLES homat Rock fire truck siren Car horn standin ogtside of r, OmtiaLa  leaf blower Chainsaw I truly believe a vibrant ... scene can make or break a town like this. - Julie Renfro, co-owner of the Tavern Factory floor, noisy restaurant, vacuum being used indoors, standing next tO 1-35 access mad alarm clock t traffic Indoor conversation, dishwasher Quiet resideriat street with little traffic MOderate rainfall wat,h Raetdonliol Areas Commemlal Area= ItKluetrtal to go with the third option. But in a late move, c0uncilmember Eileen AltmiUer proposed an amendment to redefine night as 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. It set up a firestorm of op- position during Tuesday's second reading. Sixteen individ- uals spoke on the issue - 14 against the measure and only two, long- time residents Rose Marie Shel- ton and Tommy Poer - in favor of it. The reasons were wide and ranging. But the consensus was clear - the decibel level was too low and night too ear- ly. Many believed downtown would be hindered by the new standards On Nov. 19, Renfro said the Georgetown numbers were tol- erable, but not preferred. But in her comment Tues- day, she felt those figures need- ed to be viewed by experts. She also "strongly opposed" night starting at 9 p.m. "I truly believe a vibrant - respectful - but vibrant mu- sic scene can make or break a town like this," Renfro said. It was enough to sway Mayor Todd Ruge, who attempted to table the issue. But his motion died. Altmill- er and several other council members succeeded. Altmill- er said postponement would prolong suffering from those affected by the music. "How many times do people need, to complain?" she asked. "How many times do we need to hear them say the same thing?" Youngest councilmember Angela Kennedy added the caveat of expanding night to 11:30 p.m. It was a bittersweet victory for Renfro, who said she would be more than happy to work with the new sound ordinance, but expressed disappointment the council didn't bring in sound experts. "I was sorry to see that," she said. "There was a lot of flying by the seat of their pants." Ruge, the dissenting vote, was disappointed the motion was not tabled. He hoped to see the city's new Downtown Master Plan committee discuss the decibel levels with citizens and business owners. But he backed council deci- sion, saying, "It's the law." James Rios, owner of Cleve- land's, said extending night on the weekend was a "win." However, keeping the deci- bel levels at the Georgetown level will inevitably stunt growth. "It's as if Buda does not want to grow," Rios said. "[Down- town] has regressed. That's what has happened tonight." New law could hurt biz BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com While the Buda city council contemplates a reduced noise ordinance level, business owners wonder how it will affect them. One felt it would hinder the downtown scene entirely. lames Rios, owner of Cleve- land's, was unhappy with the proposed reduction. The amended limit would make Buda have one of the most stringent noise ordinances in the area. Only Georgetown, the model for Buda's threshold, has an ordinance lower than 70 decibels (dB). Kyle's commercial noise threshold is 80 dB. Mark Erickson, director of re- cording arts at Texas State, says the decibel level decrease is "sub- stantial." He added that it was set at a conservative level, and not conducive for live music. 'A rowdy crowd of people cheering after a touchdown would be louder," Erickson said. Rios says the ordinance would limit downtown growth. "[The ordinance is] a joke. It will stop people from coming in [to downtown Buda]," Rios said. "Businesses that have outdoor patios will not be able to do any- thing. I cannot believe it passed the [Economic Development Corporation]." Mayor Todd Ruge understood those concerns, but sided with residents. He believes the change would help local businesses, saying the ordinance could force business- es to book live music acts be- fore 9 p.m., attracting an earlier crowd. Rios disagreed, saying the din- ner and live music crowds could not coincide. He also questioned the city's ability to handle train noise, but inability to handle the live music scene. Ultimately; Rios said sales tax revenue would be lost. In addition, he believes the 20- to 40-year-old crowd - which he says is the core demographic of Buda - would be alienated away from the ciW. "This ordinance will push people away from Buda into Austin," Rios said. "This is not good [for Buda]." Beasley is a male 2.5-year-old Rat Terner mix and is full of fun and personality and loves to make peoplehapp'.At 151bs, he's a great size TOr Just aDout any situation. This month, all adult dogs will have a reduced adoption fee of $80 and all adult cats will have a reduced adoption fee of $20, PAWS Shelter and Humane Society Zephyr is a 3-year-old an orange/ white male Tabby. He's handsome charming andaffectionate. If you're looking for Mr. Right you Tound h m. is a non-profit, no-kill shelter operated primarily on donations and adoptions. 500 FM 150 E, Kyle, TX * 512 268-1611 * pawsshelter.org All animals are fully vaccinated, spay/neutered, microchipped and dewormed. Town & COUNTff00VE00T0000ERINA00Y HOSPITAL Bill Selman, DVM Kayley O'Toole, DVM Committed to your pet's health since 1978. 6300 FM 1327 (East ofi35 and Creedmoore)Austin, TX 78747 512-385-0486 www.TownandCountryVetHospital.com Calcet is designed to help stop low calcium leg cramps. 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