CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Booze, bands and sleepless nights have been the focus of Worth Madry for the last four years. "There is but one solution, quit disturbing the neighbors," he said.
A Citizen's Advisory Group of the Planning Commission is holding a public meeting this week to look at the proximity of bars and restaurants to residential areas. "The fact is they care about themselves and the money they are putting in their pockets and they don't care about the neighbors," Madry said.
At the heart of this battle over amplified music is the distance between bars, restaurants and homes. In the Elizabeth neighborhood, that distance is less than 400 feet. "Don't punish all the businesses for a few repeat offenders," said Rob Nixon. Nixon is the owner of Jackalope Jack's in Elizabeth and two other restaurants in Charlotte. Nixon said the Citizen's Advisory Group is looking at shutting down music inside and outside his businesses at midnight. If the proposal passes, he says he'll lose more than 250 thousand dollars a year and he will have to layoff ten employees. Not to mention the 40 thousand dollars he said the state won't collect in sales taxes. "Where are you gonna make up the money that you're losing? It's simple as that for us," Nixon said.
The latest neighborhood squabble between money and sleep, "Where does supposedly the rights of the neighborhood to have peaceful quiet enjoyment come into play?" said Madry.
A noise ordinance approved in May 2011 set decible levels. If they're too loud, civil penalties are a $1000. Repeat violators can be forced to cut outdoor music for a year. The Planning Department's Citizen's Advisory Group will talk about the latest issue Thursday night. Their meeting starts at Six in Room 267 at the Government Center.