New Bern looking at changes to noise ordinance

NEW BERN, NC (WITN) Nightlife and noise from music has been at the heart of an issue for New Bern and the board of aldermen is considering a revised ordinance aimed at solving the problem.

Alderman Sabrina Bengel says, "Downtown New Bern has a good vibe. We've seen a lot of growth in our businesses downtown and I think it's good, but with that being said, I totally respect the residents and having some measure of quiet or measure of noise that's acceptable."

After receiving numerous complaints about live music at bars and restaurants on the weekends, one restaurant has taken steps to try and lessen the noise without taking away from their business.

Jennifer Zerby of Blackbeards says, "We made adjustments as the residents called the store itself but then they started involving the police department and I think we were basing it off of an ordinance that's 20-years old."

The city's board of aldermen have joined in on the debate and have been revising an outdated noise ordinance. After months of work from both sides and the city, a new ordinance has been created.

Zerby says, "The process over the last couple of months has been looking at different ordinances in different counties and cities throughout the state to find one that's suitable for downtown New Bern where it's a mixed community."

While the issue was brought up regarding downtown, aldermen say this ordinance will be citywide.

The board of aldermen is expected to vote on the new ordinance at their next meeting.