Restaurant owner says city is trying to shut him down - | WBTV Charlotte

Restaurant owner says city is trying to shut him down


Some Charlotte restaurant owners say they fear the city is trying to shut them down. Next week, city officials will hold a meeting to define the word restaurant, but business owners say it's all about making them keep quiet after certain hours.

Kevin Marcuse opened Kennedy's in Elizabeth with hopes to serve the entire city, including those who live just a few feet away from his business. He says the City of Charlotte is making that almost impossible, if noise rules are changed by the city.

"We'd have to lay off employees it would cut tax revenue to the city," he said.

A zoning official says next week, a group of citizens will meet with city officials to redefine Charlotte's definition of a restaurant, not to change the noise ordinance. That official says many loud restaurants in neighborhoods, fall outside the decades old definition.

"This is an internal staff decision by the zoning department not one citizen ever proposed this idea," Marcuse said. That is a charge the zoning official denied, arguing many citizens have expressed their opinions.

Last year, another zoning committee considered enforcing a law that said any restaurant within 400 feet of a residence could not play music after midnight. The law never happened, but Marcuse is afraid it will this time.

"I do hear it occasionally but not in a way that bothers me. I live in a city and I knew when I moved here that I was in a city and I expect to hear some urban noises," said neighbor Amy Wright.

Gretchen Saunders who shares a property line with Kennedy's, says she is tired of hearing the loud noises from the nearby restaurants.

"Most of the bars are open until 2 a.m. in the morning every single night. They get a crowd until 2 a.m. every single night," Saunders said.

Marcuse denies excessive loud noise coming from Kennedy's and says he'll do whatever it takes to keep his business open, and the music playing.

Next week's meeting will be held on January 24, 2013 from 6:00 – 8:00PM in room 267 of Charlotte's Government Center.

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