Two steps forward, three steps backwards

In the past few weeks, Lower Greenville businesses have been making some real attempts to not become the newest version of Deep Ellum.

And for the most part, their efforts - meetings between DPD and all (we mean all) business owners, a new street-wide dress code (would someone please explain to BD what a grill is??), and better communication with the residents - seem to be making a difference. Since the dress code took effect, there are very few scumpatrons parking near the Dog Pound this month.

But as in any large group, there are still a few buttheads trying to shove their weight around.

For example: Public House and Suede. They share a large rooftop patio, and apparently an antipathy towards the residents when it comes to noise. They are confusing noise abatement with crime abatement, and not doing it very well.

Each weekend evening, both businesses are getting citations for noise violations. Stand on the 5700 block of Oram Street - like NSA Hunt did last weekend - and you can watch the band playing on the roof while hearing every single note in your house or car.

These scumbars share the rooftop patio, and they share the noise heard in the neighborhood. For the past few weeks, the Suede band will generally play loud till midnight, or when they get a ticket (whichever comes first). Then the Public House folks will crank it up for an hour, until they get a ticket, or 1am, whichever comes first. Then Suede's band strikes it up again till 2am.

Suede's Christian Longford got a noise ticket on Friday evening. Right after that, Public House cranked up their rooftop speakers.

DPD sources tells BD the noise inside Public House is so bad as to be painful. DPD is considering filing additional charges on them for disorderly conduct and environmental issues (noise) if they don't make some changes real soon.

Noise citations are in a holding pattern, however. Sources tell BD the DPD has asked the City Attorney's office for a review and interpretation of existing noise laws, and assistance on prosecuting the cases in a more consistent and stronger fashion. There are too many vague spots in the current law making it too easy to just pay the ticket and keep making the noise.

When they get a ticket, the scumbar owners plead no contest and pay the fine (less than $160). When you consider that Suede's liquor sales were over $40,000 for last month, that is nothing.

The City Attorney will do what they always do when they encounter a confrontation - not a damn thing. They don't like prosecuting quality of life issues, they don't call name-witnesses for noise issues, and they sure don't want to create any more work for the 100+ attorneys working in their offices.

Sources also tell BD that changes in current law regarding noise and rooftop patios are on the agenda for NSA Hunt's so-called Lower Greenville Task Force. No parking spaces are required for rooftop patios in operation today, but a future owner could be required to provide parking when the Certificate of Occupancy changes.

This is not unprecedented - Many businesses on Lower Greenville found themselves forced to pay for extensive overhauls of their building in order to bring them up to current code (not the code that was in force when the structure was built).

At the Belmont NA meeting on Monday, NSA said she was crossing her fingers that the parking space review would be ready for review. BD has already heard some quadruple-dipping has been found - spaces claimed by four different businesses. Parking is a hot commodity right now - when a new development is completed, dozens of spaces evaporate in favor of driveway lanes or No Parking restrictions at the request of the developer. An informal count of neighborhood parking spaces on Friday evening showed that 50 will go buh-bye within the next two months, all less than one block from Lower Greenville.

In the case of CityVille, the City determined that Lewis Street was not safe for parking vehicles once the lanes were striped upon completion of construction.

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Lower Greenville