Downtown noise causes tension between residents and businesses


Downtown Raleigh has become kind of the "it" spot for young professionals looking to work and live in the same area, and while people are trying to get the best of both worlds, they cannot take the noise.

People who live downtown say they are paying high prices to be miserable, but the Raleigh City Council is not taking up the issue just yet.

On Monday, the Raleigh City Council postponed a vote on the noise battle in the city.

Some downtown Raleigh residents feel it is too loud at night, they say they cannot sleep and that local establishments are to blame.

"When at 2 a.m. people are coming out of bars, creating noise and waking us up, depriving us of our creates problems where it's hard to conduct business the next day. It's hard to be at our best," said downtown resident Will Marks.

Calls for service in the downtown district have mostly gone up in the last year. There were 339 loud music complaints and 206 loud noise calls.

"You want a city to build, you got to open doors. Let people know what's going on," said Napper Tandy's owner Robert Stapleton.

Stapleton says live music and the excitement of a rowdy crowd pull people into his business. He argues that businesses are already required to close the front door at 11 p.m. and any further restrictions would harm the bottom line.

"Our alcohol taxes are the highest in the country. Our liquor taxes are the highest. We pay nothing but taxes on liquor and beer around here, but we really need for them to give us something so we can make some money too," said Stapleton.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance is looking to broker a deal. The nonprofit organization wants to reach an agreement with residents and businesses.

"We really need a way to develop a compressive solution. Raleigh has two bona fide areas that draw 5,000 to 10,000 people every Friday or Saturday night," said David Diaz, with Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

Raleigh City Council will revisit the noise issue in 90 days.

During that time, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance will try to come up with some solutions to present.

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