Zoning Board vs Harley-Davidson Dealer

There must be something in my DNA that enjoys a good fight, or rather hates to see people being bullied.
I’ll fire off a Letter to the Editor in a heartbeat and more often as not, stick my nose in where it probably otherwise doesn’t belong.  As I’ve aged, I’ve tried to tone it down a bit just to get along.
This is one of those times when I’m having trouble keeping my unsolicited opinion to myself.
Rocky Timms is the owner of a Harley-Davidson dealership in Anderson South Carolina.  No, he doesn’t advertise, so I’m not taking his side for any other reason than he’s being unfairly targeted by a few small minded anti-motorcycle “zoning police” that live around his dealership.
Timms hosts a bike night in Anderson every Thursday, and has been since May.  By all accounts, it’s fairly successful and attracts a decent sized crowd from 6-9 or 9:30.
By 9:45 the lot is mostly empty.
But, for Wayne Self, and his neighbors opposed to the bike night, those 3, to 3 and a half hours of “noise” were enough to complain to the zoning board and ask the county to shut the bike nights down.
I don’t know about you, but this sort of whining chaps my ass.  Here you have an honest businessman, doing everything he can in this economy to make a profit and keep jobs for local citizens and a group of penny ninnys complain that their quiet neighborhood is disrupted for a few hours a week?  During daylight hours no less?
I’d bet a dollar to a donut that not the first complainer has ever owned a business where he or she had to make payroll, or had the kind of investment that Timms has and stands to lose if the dealership folds.
The complainers said that the extra cars that come in create a parking problem and a hazard in the neighborhood.  Timms told the cops to tow any vehicle that was creating a parking hazard.  Apparently that wasn’t good enough.
The planning director for Anderson said Timms could apply to have his property rezoned to support outdoor commercial recreation.
That’s all well and good but if a few neighbors, and it’s only a few not a majority, can cause the city to shut down his bike night, even though the property is currently zoned commercial business, what kind of chance do you think he’ll have with a rezoning request.
I see this sort of attitude in the news almost everyday.  Sometimes it’s legitimate and business owners go too far and deliberately break the rules and do not care how it affects their neighbors.
Then there are those people who let their 5th grade hall monitor appointment go to their head and still get a sense of importance by being the “zoning police” or “noise nanny” of the neighborhood.
These are the same people who call the police if they see someone parked in a “no parking zone” even though doesn’t affect them.  They just don’t like to see someone else “breaking the rules” as they understand them.
They’re also the ones who generally dislike motorcyclists because they see us as being too “free spirited” and “rebellious.”
I’ll admit that 80 or 100 motorcycles, especially Harley-Davidson’s, will create a fair amount of noise as they come and go into a dealership.  I won’t argue that it probably does cause somewhat of an inconvenience to some of Timms neighbors during the bike night hours.
But this is America and while you might not agree with it, or fully understand it, capitalism and our free market system is the engine that powers our economy.  I have no doubt that Timms Harley-Davidson writes a  large property tax check to the city and county every year and receives no more government services than do his neighbors.  He shouldn’t be molested when it comes to making a legal profit.  Customer events are an important part of a successful motorcycle dealership.

But that’s probably something his neighbors wouldn’t understand.

-Editor Scott Cochran

Web Staff


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  2. get a food vender to setup and set a couple of newer bikes out in the lot advertise bikes eat 25% off and get a free bike wash (schools r always lookin for fundraisers)..

  3. well hell there goes toys for tots ….toys for tots just by itself brings in thousands of dollars…damn and cancer sociaty has bike runs all the time………well im gonna move to anderson and complain about every car,lawnmower,and kid that goes down my road that i will be able to hear..hell and when the police turn their siren on im gonna complain that its to load and it hurts my ears..lol people need to get the corn cob out of their but*s and use their head…if the neighbors went to one of the bike nights they might have a good time..

  4. Perhaps this is where Mr. Timms says, “NO MORE BIKE NIGHTS” Wink Wink….and people still come as these please…as this is America. Then when the whiners come out, Mr Timss just has to say, I didn’t organize this event and I can not help that people showed up and are having a good time on my property!!! OR For a few weeks, everyone just starts taking their bikes to the whiners parking lots and “browse” their goods with no intention of purchasing anything…just to tweak off these little whiney pricks!!!! Ahhhh, i love a good fight!

  5. So, a motorcycle dealership is doing a promotion to bolster sales and increase sales tax base in a small town and a few numbskulls are trying to kill the growth. If every small to medium sized town (I live in Augusta area and we have 5 dealers) dealer stopped having events; potential buyers may not shop the bike stores. We as riders go to bike night for friendship. At the dealer you have the additional display of parts to ask “will this fit my bike?”. Sounds like prejudice people parading personal preferences peacful party participants.

  6. I bought a tshirt from this man when I was in this town. I could not see where his business was anywhere near anything but a business district Car dealers and resturants were all I saw on this main street where his business is located. Most noise ordinances I have heard of start at 10pm. If the bikes and other vehicles that frequent the HD dealer have left the area prior to the 10pm frame their is nothng legally that the city government can do to Timms. Why would they want to anyhow? Today’s economic climate is not very friendly to business at this time. If this Timms HD has found a way to attract customers who are buying stuff then more power to him.

  7. They could have accomplished the same by simply getting the city to enforce existing noise laws.
    If this is near a residential area, you know that at least some of these people work and sleep odd hours, or have sick kids, or just want to enjoy their back yard on that day. I work second shift and am off on Wednesdays and Sundays. If someone did this every Wednesday in my neighborhood, I’d be the first to complain.
    Thankfully, the dealer up here is really pushing riders to leave the exhaust systems alone and quiet. And yes, I ride a Harley. In fact, I have three of them.

  8. As of 7-7 the idiots in Anderson have followed the small group and shut down Timm’s bike night.My response is as follows, from this day forward I will not spend any of my hard earned money anywhere in Anderson.And I live in Greenville SC

  9. Well there you have it. All those law abiding, revenue building, good for nothing bikers have caused problems again. Damn, all we do is look out for others, take care of those in need and spend millions every year to benefit others. And a Harley dealer like Timms take the initiative to show us a small but very appreciated token of appreciation and he's in the wrong. Come on Anderson SC, don't follow in the foot steps of Myrtle Beach. Get a grip.

  10. What’s next? Outlaw(Harleys)? The crotch rockets cause even more rukus with their burnouts and winding out the engine as much as they can so they can go 150 mph. THESE riders are what hospitals all over the country call(organ donors) Does your neighbor use his lawn mower? Most Harley riders are law abiding citizens. If a legitimate business holds hours for these ”CUSTOMERS” to congregate during regular business hours it is unconstitional to chase the owners customers away. We have as much right as any other vehicle that is tagged and insured. For those complaining…GET A LIFE!

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