8 April 2022
Raleigh, N.C. — A popular bar in Glenwood South could soon have its amplified entertainment permit suspended for one year now that police have issued four civil citations for loud noise.
Records obtained by WRAL News show officers cited The Village, located at 616 Glenwood Avenue, two times in August and two times in October for the music exceeding 60 decibels.
The decibel limit is outlined in the city’s Hospitality District Ordinance that requires bars and restaurants within the Glenwood South corridor to obtain a permit from the city of Raleigh to play music.
The ordinance outlines a $500 fine for a first violation, which increases to $1,000 and $5,000 for subsequent violations. The penalty for a fourth violation includes a one year suspension of an establishment’s amplified entertainment permit.
Dan Lovenheim, who owns several bars in Glenwood South including The Village, said he is appealing the civil violations. He added that he believes the 60 decibel limit — which is equivalent to a normal conversation level — is unattainable in the entertainment district.
The Village, which received its fourth violation on Oct. 30, continues to operate as normal while the city manager reviews the bar’s appeals, according to a city spokesperson.
On Tuesday, Lt. Robert Bowen briefed the Raleigh City Council about the challenges in getting accurate sound readings with noise from cars and pedestrians and numerous bars in the same area.
“Enforcing the noise ordinance is tricky to say the least,” said Lt. Bowen, who oversees police operations in Glenwood South.
“It is extremely hard for us to take enforcement action when we can’t without a reasonable doubt state that this one bar is making this much noise … when you are looking at the sound meter you can’t tell the sound meter just take the sound from this one club and forget everything else,” he said.
RPD issues criminal citations
As crowds returned to Glenwood South in July 2021 before the delta variant surge, records show Raleigh police started issuing criminal misdemeanor citations for violations of the city’s noise ordinance.
Between July and November 2021, officers issued 21 criminal misdemeanors to seven bar managers at five different bars. Of the 21 citations, police issued eight at The Village, four at Cornerstone Tavern, four at Dogwood Bar & Eatery, two at Alchemy, two at Wonderland and one at Mojito Lounge.
Police have issued no violations — criminal or civil — since Nov. 26 despite constant complaints from neighbors.
“Our bedroom windows literally rattle sometimes it’s so loud,” said Angela Floyd.
The attorneys representing the city and police department are currently exploring potential revisions to city code to quell complaints and make enforcement easier, Lt. Bowen told the council.
Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson also briefed City Council about the increasing crime in Glenwood South, including a shooting on March 19 and a stabbing last weekend.
Between June 2021 and March of this year, police report 111 assaults, 69 people with guns and five reports of shots fired.
“At some point I believe truly that we might have a national incident and I don’t want that by any level and I don’t think anybody else wants that at all,” said Patterson.
Patterson said she would support a requirement that bars in the hospitality district to install metal detectors to more easily find firearms and other weapons.
“We do have work to do on this,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.