Police and city leaders have agreed to continue a program meant to simplify noise complaints in the Glenwood South neighborhood.
The Raleigh City Council voted Tuesday to extend the Glenwood South Hospitality District, which was put in place a year ago as a pilot program. The system makes it easier for venues to get permission to play music, and it gives neighbors a chance to complain about noise through an online reporting system or by calling 911.
The city has received 118 complaints filed by 26 residents through the hospitality district.
The program has not created a significant amount of extra work for police officers, Downtown District Commander J.J. Matthews told the council.
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“(It) provided an opportunity for us to work together with businesses and the community to address quality-of-life issues,” Matthews said in a statement.
Raleigh granted permits to 21 businesses in Glenwood South to become part of the hospitality district. The permit allows them to play music with doors and windows open until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 p.m. during the week. Music cannot exceed 60 decibels.
Previously, bars and clubs had to go through a quasi-judicial process to be allowed to play music outdoors or with windows and doors open at night.
Under the hospitality district rules, businesses are required to have someone on staff at all times of operation to address complaints.
Alchemy, a nightclub on the 600 block of Glenwood Avenue, received 64 complaints – the most of any participating business. Solas, a nightclub and restaurant on the 400 block of Glenwood Avenue, received the second-highest number of complaints with 13.
One resident filed 46 complaints, mostly against Alchemy, according to police records.
Matthews said most businesses made adjustments after receiving repeated complaints. At Alchemy, owners added an external door to block some of the club’s noise.
The hospitality district was not without problems. Sometimes it was hard to pinpoint where noise was coming from, Matthews said.
Some residents wanted a more immediate resolution, which was difficult if a complaint was filed through the online system, Matthews said in a report to the council. Others were resistant to contact police or businesses with their concerns, he said.
Councilman Corey Branch asked if the hospitality district system could be extended to other parts of the city. Over the summer, residents who live on Fayetteville Street voiced concerns about late-night noise and other disruptions.
The council implemented rules for outdoor dining and drinking that sparked controversy and became a key talking point during election season this fall. Last month, the council voted to scale back the rules.
But Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said residents on Fayetteville Street were not interested in setting up a similar system to the one in place for Glenwood South.