GREENSBORO, N.C. — Even after proposing a compromise to the debate over a noise ordinance in Greensboro, Police Chief Ken Miller is still hearing loud arguments on both sides. On Wednesday, a resident of the Center Pointe Apartments at Friendly and Elm said Miller’s proposed compromise won’t quite do the trick.
“All we’re asking is just a little less noise especially on weeknights when it becomes late,” said Theresa, who chose not to give her last name, saying that she’s afraid of the negative reaction she’ll likely receive from others downtown who oppose the noise ordinance.
Even so, she still wanted her side of the argument to be heard as loudly as she hears Greene Street and Sky Nightclub–the two businesses she says keep her up at night.
“A thumping, constant — you can hear the words from the songs and the DJ on the microphone while you’re in your bed. That’s when it becomes a little more on the intolerant side,” Theresa said.
She and her husband moved to Center Pointe in the Fall of 2009. It wasn’t long after that that she made her first noise complaint. She said what she hears through the walls of her apartment is far beyond normal downtown noise.
“The music is very loud,” she said. “This is Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday night–52 weeks a year.”
Theresa and the man who owns her building, Roy Carroll, want an ordinance closer to what the downtown areas of Raleigh and Charlotte have. Theresa claimed no businesses have shut down because of provisions in those cities that allow more peace and quiet.
“I’m not moving out just like the people in Charlotte and Raleigh didn’t move out. What they did was ask the city council to intervene so that the residents and the businesses can get along and they can have a level playing field,” she said.
Chief Miller’s plan goes before the Greensboro City Council Tuesday. It includes a noise limit of 70 decibels as measured 25 feet from the source. That’s louder than what Charlotte and Raleigh allow. The compromise also provides that a business can be shut down for a time if it receives multiple noise violations in a 24-hour period.
Theresa and Carroll want an ordinance that will keep it quiet, but they also want one that will be enforced regularly. In an email to FOX8, Carroll claimed few citations were given for the over 5,000 noise complaints called into police in 2011.
“I’m pretty happy as long as it can be enforced. I just hope that they enforce it, especially Sunday through Thursday nights,” Theresa said.
To those who say quieting the party downtown will keep people away, Theresa said that is not her goal.
“We don’t want clubs to close but we also don’t want people to be afraid to come downtown. ‘Oh, I won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep there,'” she said.
She hopes both sides can come to a fair agreement and coexist downtown.
“Mixed use: it’s not just bars its not just clubs its not just restaurants. Mixed use means the residents, the businesses–they all get along together.”