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CPNA Opposes Extension of Glenwood South Hospitality District West of Boylan Avenue

The Association recently asked the City Council not to include areas west of Boylan Avenue in the proposed Glenwood South Hospitality District. The areas west of Boylan that were proposed for inclusion are directly across from owner-occupied, single-family homes in our neighborhood. Inclusion in the Hospitality District would authorize appropriately-zoned businesses to play amplified music from 11pm to 2am on weekends and to do so loudly enough to be heard well beyond the business’s property line.

Text of the email below. If you would like to address the Council on this issue, attend the public hearing mentioned in the email or email the Council at citycouncilors@raleighnc.gov.

To: citycouncilors@raleighnc.gov

Mayor McFarlane and Councilors:

I write on behalf of the Cameron Park Neighborhood Association. I write to oppose the inclusion of areas west of Boylan Avenue in the proposed Glenwood South Hospitality District, the adoption of which is on for public hearing this Wednesday, November 5, at 7:00 p.m. The area we challenge includes a stretch of Saint Mary’s Street immediately across from owner-occupied single-family homes in our neighborhood.

While we support the Hospitality District Ordinance and the establishment of such districts generally, we ask you to change the boundary of this district before adopting it to exclude businesses west of Boylan.

I regret bringing this to your attention so late, but we were not included in the “stakeholder” process that developed the district. While our Association knew of the recently adopted ordinance and the fact that it was designed to address Glenwood South, it never occurred to us that St. Mary’s Street might be considered part of a Glenwood South Hospitality District. We learned otherwise only when a neighbor forwarded her 100’ rezoning notice. On review of some meeting minutes, I determined that several councilors and the staff learned that our neighborhood wasn’t consulted when Councilor Baldwin asked about this in Committee, but it does not appear that the omission was addressed.

The area west of Boylan proposed for inclusion in the Glenwood South Hospitality District does not satisfy the ordinance definition of “hospitality district,” because it does not contain a concentration of establishments offering amplified entertainment that are located in close proximity to residential dwellings. Furthermore, the zoning in this area is not consistent with the provision of the late night entertainment that gave rise to the need for these districts. To our knowledge, only one establishment in this area has ever offered live music. That is Ciago’s, which has had evening live music in the past. Ciago’s has indicated to one of our members that it no longer plans to have such music.

Including establishments west of Boylan in this district would have the unfortunate effect of authorizing routine, loud amplified entertainment from 11pm to 2am Friday and Saturday nights. While the proposed UDO zoning for St Mary’s Street does not currently allow late-night establishments, including the area in a Hospitality District would encourage business to seek rezoning to allow them to take advantage of the permit. Because appropriately-zoned permit-holders could offer entertainment from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. that is approximately 50% louder than the nighttime volumes currently permitted in this area, denominating this area a “hospitality zone” is inconsistent with the notion of providing a reasonable, respectful transition to neighborhood uses that—unlike the housing in Glenwood South—arose a century ago and will continue to thrive as long as the Council respects them.

I will be traveling on business the day of the hearing, so I will not be able to attend the hearing in person. I hope you will not take that as a lack of concern on our part, and I thank you for considering these written views.

Neil Riemann

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November 3, 2014 · 11:20 am