Starlite Drive-In proposes its own changes to the Christiansburg noise ordinance

CHRISTIANSBURG,Va.- – People living around the Starlite Drive-In Theater first complained about the volume in 2016 after the business switched to amplified speakers. 

Thursday night was the second of several meetings held to find a solution to decrease the noise that will be suitable and fair to business owners and residents in town. 

People crowded the second floor of town hall to hear how the town's new proposed noise ordinance could affect businesses, specifically the Starlite.

Christiansburg is introducing a conditional use permit for businesses that believe they're exceeding the noise ordinance on a consistent basis. The planning director said the permit is a $750 one-time fee. 

"Exceeding the noise ordinance past a certain time or a condition that says additional trees may be planted to buffer some of the sound. It's dependent on the particular location," said Andrew Warren, planning director. 

They're also looking at changing the noise travel during daylight hours hours from 50 feet to 100 feet and replacing criminal penalties with civil penalties. 

Owner of the Starlite Peggy Beasley said the business will suffer when they open to the public April 20. 

"We had a lot of people say they weren't coming back. They paid to see a movie and they'd like to hear it if they're going to see it and that just wasn't happening. But we did try to do everything the town suggested," said Beasley. 

Starlite passed out their own proposal at the meeting suggesting the noise ordinance for Friday and Saturday nights be moved from 10 p.m. to midnight.

The drive-in also proposes customers use their radios to hear the movie after the first showing on those nights.

Starlite will also reduce to one movie showing on Thursday and Sunday without restriction to sound. 

Town officials say they're willing to look over the proposal and make a final decision at the April 24 town council meeting.