Committee examining Charlotte noise ordinance

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The Community Safety Committee met today for its February meeting, part of which included a discussion about the Charlotte noise ordinance and how it might be changed.

With city attorney Mac McCarley going over all of the proposed changes, he often used the word balance to discuss what the changes would try to achieve. While some residents wouldn't be happy with some amendments, some business owners might not be happy with others.

The biggest issue at hand has to do with music inside and outside of the Uptown area and where it is within earshot of residential areas.

Among the proposed changes —

* Prohibiting amplified noise in the right-of-way (protests, street preachers and musicians) before 7 a.m. and after 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and after 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. And the permit for such activity would have to be on-site.

* Any restaurant or bar within 400 feet of residential zoning would not be allowed to have live, outdoor, amplified music.

This would include events such as P-Stone Fest at the Philosopher's Stone, NoDa outdoor live music events such as the ones held at Salvador Deli, or even musicians on patios, unless they were acoustic and not using an amplifier. There'd be no permit - they just wouldn't be allowed to happen.

* Venues that are not within 400 feet of residential zoning would be allowed to have 15 hours total of live, outdoor, amplified music per year.

This would be for venues such as Dixies that is Uptown, not in a residential area and has concerts such as the Gravedigger's Ball in the parking lot.

Three venues in town — Symphony Park, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre and Road Runner Mobile Amphitheatre — would be handled on a case by case basis because they have more than 5000 people attending their events. In all likelihood, nothing would change for

McCarley noted that the issue about outdoor amplified music is a "bonfire ready to be lit" between residents and restaurant owners.

While more issues were discussed and the changes are still open for modification, it was noted that some residents are pushing the charge for them to be approved before the warm weather begins this year.

While no comments were allowed from the public at this meeting, there will be a comments time at the March meeting which is tentatively scheduled for March 21 at 2 p.m.


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