SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (CN) - After a history of mayhem, Sullivan's Island is trying to turn down the volume. The British were repulsed here during the Revolutionary War and the island provided front row viewing for the bombardment of Fort Sumter that started the Civil War. Now the town has declared that "it shall be unlawful or any person to yell, shout, hoot, whistle or sing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m."
The Town of Sullivan's Island is populated to a great extent, on a part-time basis, by wealthy businesspeople from out of state and by celebrities such as Bill Murray and Stephen Colbert.
In an ordinance slated to take effect on Aug. 1, the town has declared that "it shall be unlawful or any person to yell, shout, hoot, whistle or sing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the comfort or repose of persons in any office, or in any dwelling, or other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity."
Violation of the ordinance is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Town Administrator Andy Benke said the ordinance, which already has had two of the three public readings necessary to make it law, has generally received a positive response from the island's 2,000 year-round residents. A final vote on the measure is scheduled for the first week of July.
"There are places you can go and be loud and vociferous," Benke said. "Sullivan's Island is not one of them."
Benke said the rule is needed to help maintain the "quiet family atmosphere" on the island, where roughly 3,000 visitors who make their way to its beaches every summer weekend.
"There are probably six or seven restaurants in the town that stay open until 2 a.m.," he said, and it may be that their patrons don't realize they are being loud and disrupting the peace.
The new rule gives the town a way to address the situation, he said.