City OKs special district for Raleigh's Glenwood South
Posted November 2, 2014
Updated November 6, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The ongoing struggle to balance rest and play in the Glenwood South area came before Raleigh city officials once again – but this time it was for a potential solution residents and business owners agree on.
A public hearing was held Wednesday night for the Glenwood South Hospitality District, a one-year pilot program that provides clarity on outdoor noise levels and fosters more interaction between bar owners and residents to address noise complaints.
The City Council approved the program Wednesday.
Some bar owners say the program allows for a more direct approach to resolving complaints because residents can take their concerns directly to them.
“Basically, having that open line of communication to see if there is a disturbance and to see if there can be a resolution to that disturbance without involving the police,” Dan Lovenheim, who owns Glenwood South businesses Cornerstone Tavern and 606 Lounge, said before the meeting.
City leaders hope the district will help calm tensions between area residents and business owners and avoid long hearings at city hall. In the past, increased police enforcement of noise complaints led bars to seek new outdoor sound permits to keep their doors propped open while music plays inside. Each permit required a city council hearing, which could last for hours as businesses and neighbors squared off.
The area, with its many clubs and bars, is swarmed with partygoers on Friday and Saturday nights. The activity is what, in part, led Del Hopewell to move to the neighborhood.
But the noise does get to him at times.
“As people leave, they’re walking down the street because they park off in the neighborhood areas, and you’ll hear them laughing and talking about their night,” he said prior to Wednesday’s hearing. “When you have to get up at five in the morning, it’s a little disturbing.”
Rules for businesses within the district include:
- An available manager whenever the business is open or when employees are inside
- Adhering to noise limits:
- 60db Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- 55db Sunday through Thursday, 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- 60db Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
- No audible sounds from the exterior of any building between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m.
- Participating in a mediation process for noise complaints within the district
- Civil penalties for noise violations
The hospitality district’s boundaries include:
- Glenwood Avenue between Hillsborough and West Peace streets
- West North Street between North Harrington Street and North Boylan Avenue
- Tucker Street between North West and St. Mary’s streets
- West Johnston Street between North West and St. Mary’s Streets
- Peace Street between North West Street and North Boylan Avenue
Lovenheim, the business owner, believes being grouped into the hospitality district could create a better sense of unity.
“I think it will help foster greater communication between businesses and residents and a greater sense of community in the Glenwood South area,” he said. “That’s the hope.”