Proposed noise ordinance attracts controversy in Charlotte council meeting

Anti-abortion activists protest proposed change to Charlotte's noise ordinance

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Even though there was no chance to speak, the anti-abortion group "We Love Life" showed up to the Charlotte City Council meeting Monday.

They're opposing a proposed new noise ordinance that could impact the protests they often hold in front of A Preferred Women's Health Clinic on Latrobe Drive.

The proposed noise ordinance would create a buffer of around 200 feet around school’s, churches and medical facilities. There are some anti-abortion activists who think being that far back limits their free speech.

A list of the main changes to the proposed noise ordinance.
A list of the main changes to the proposed noise ordinance.

The group also believes the proposed ordinance is targeting them. and they’re prepared to file an ethics complaint against council members to prove it.

“That’s certainly not the case and let me be clear there’s no conflict of interest here,” Councilman Justin Harlow.

Harlow says CMPD has asked for an ordinance with more teeth. The proposed ordinance would increase fine and the noise buffer offers more guidance on what is and isn’t allowed.

A power point presentation given to the Charlotte City Council.
A power point presentation given to the Charlotte City Council.

Councilman Ed Driggs was the most outspoken against the ordinance saying it likely targets the activists and that representatives from development and hospitality were not even consulted.

“I really think this is an attempt on our part to pretend we’re doing one thing when we’re actually doing something else,” said.

“We’ve had restaurant owners we’ve had hospitality industry we’ve certainly had the development community,” Harlow said.

But Harlow also said more than 30 percent of noise complaints are coming from healthcare facilities.

“We have a responsibility as council members to do something about it,” Harlow said.

The vote on the ordinance is not until June 24.

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