Musicians worry about future noise issues in downtown Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Icon Lounge in downtown Sioux Falls is back in business and in compliance with noise ordinances after neighbors in a newly developed apartment next door complained that the live music was too loud.

But with the growing number of new apartments and music venues coming to the area, some worry if this could just be the first of many conflicts ahead.

“We were compliant on Friday night so we were really happy,” Icon Lounge owner Stacy Newcomb-Weiland said.

Since October, Icon Lounge owners have spent more than $25,000 on renovations including covering and insolating windows.
In the last two weeks they reinforced the ceiling and covered the roof with acoustic mats.

“That did do the trick. It dropped the decibel level by 10 or 12 and that is what we needed to do to get into compliance,” Stacy Newcomb-Weiland said.

People addressed the Sioux Falls city council Tuesday night to talk about the issue.
Local musicians say they're worried that noise complaints could affect the growing entertainment district.

“It’s a bad precedent that is going to be set before us because…If you get the like complexes and buildings to like silence one venue then like that’s going to like lead to another complex to silence another venue,” Jacob Lemme said.

Brienne Manor from Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. says there are currently more than 2,300 people who live in downtown and that number is growing. So, this is an issue that might be around for a while.

“Issues of this nature coming about at this time are an indicator that we're growing as a city. So, it’s a good problem to have,” Manor said.

The organization does have its eye on areas where there could be future noise issues and that includes the Levitt Shell which is right across the street from several apartments.

“I would say that would be a bullseye for us just to keep the lines of communication for the board of directors at the Levitt, the new executive director that’s coming on, to make sure that they're mindful of those things as well,” Manor said.

Manor says communication between residents and venues is key.
And Icon Owners say it's time to be proactive instead of reactive.

“I would hope that now as we move forward, as new venues open, as new buildings are built, people will be thinking about that,” Newcomb-Weiland said.

Councilor Greg Neitzert says he is looking into some possible code changes in the future, but doesn't know exactly what those might be just yet.