Update: I called Tom Phillips.  He was informed before the meeting that the amendment could not be rescinded because the matter would have had to have been advertised before Council action could be taken.  There had not been time for that.  He says it is the Council’s intent to advertise and revisit the amendment based on the outcome of the July 6th meeting of concerned parties.


OK, I am either gullible, or misinformed.

Back on June 8th I wrote that the City Council voted 8-1 to adopt an amendment to the noise ordinance as it pertains to special events in the Central Business District.  The ordinance change appeared to be enabling legislation so fireworks displays can be allowed at the new stadium because no other change of downtown event practices are on the horizon that I have heard of.  If that was the amendment’s intent, it failed it’s mission because the ordinance amended only concerns itself with events lasting 3 or more days.  Baseball games don’t normally last three days.

Downtown neighborhood residents were frustrated by the change because they hadn’t been consulted.  This frustration translated into phone calls and emails to City Council.  Many were headed to City Hall to speak on the matter at the last Council meeting but Councilman Tom Phillips informed me in an email that the ordinance amendment only applied to special events lasting three days or longer.

Later that day Phillips called and asked that I inform everyone that the City’s legal staff found that the amendment had some unintended consequences and that it would be reconsidered the following Tuesday.  He also told me that everyone affected will be called together to hash out their differences.  I did what Tom asked.

Yesterday, while I was crowing about how I may have affected John Hammer’s Rhino column I stated that the Council voted to rescind the amendment.  JW commented in that post that I was mistaken and she emailed Councilwoman Sandy Carmany to read what I wrote.  In a subsequent email, Sandy informs me that I indeed overstated the situation.

Carmany: “…THAT DID NOT HAPPEN — no vote was taken on the issue.  Legal staff WAS instructed to work on it and eliminate some discrepancies in language and conflicts with other parts of the ordinance, but the 1AM issue did not come up to my remembrance (then again, it was very late at night and I could be mistaken, but I don’t think so).  At any rate, the ordinance with the change is still in effect, and I am not so sure a majority of council is willing to support backing off that 1AM provision.  So don’t go to sleep yet (pun intended)!”

I will call Tom Phillips this morning to ask what part of our conversation I got wrong.  I have been contacted by City Attorney Terry Wood – the meeting between downtown neighborhoods, Action Greensboro and DGI has been set for July 6th.

It appears to me, because the ordinance amendment is now law (the 30 day rescission provision has expired), that those that might be opposed to the change are at a disadvantage.  I hope I am mistaken.

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