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WUNC reports from Greensboro about Guilford County and surrounding area.

Decibels Dropping In Downtown Greensboro

Greensboro skyline
Scott Moore, Flickr, Creative Commons

Downtown Greensboro should be a litter quieter late at night following a new ordinance passed by the City Council.  The new regulations are aimed at quieting night clubs. Some downtown residents have long complained about loud late-night music. Members of the council voted 7 to 2 capping noise at 65 decibels after 11:00 p.m.

“Nightclubs are extremely important to any downtown," said  Councilman Zack Matheny, who represents the district that includes downtown. "Bars are important to downtown. Business is extremely important to downtown. And residents are extremely important to downtown. It’s not that one outweighs any other. So now we’re trying to strike that happy medium, so everybody is treated equally."

Members of the City Council cite resident complaints as the main reason for the new regulations. On the other side of the issue is Mike Carter,who owns Syn & Sky Nightclub downtown. He believes the motivation is coming from a select few people.

“I think a lot of it is pressure from very influential businessmen in Greensboro," Carter says. "The men with millions of dollars who are regular contributors to all of the city council for their campaign funds.”

Carter says the city has not been willing to compromise with local nightclub owners. He believes a majority of city leaders want to close roof-top areas and eventually force nightclubs to move elsewhere. The noise ordinance includes decibel limits, as well as how sound will be measured. The limits are on par with restrictions in Durham, Raleigh and Charlotte.

Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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