• 57°

Special-events permit ordinance is again ready for City Council’s consideration

SALISBURY — Salisbury City Councilman Brian Miller started Monday night’s committee meeting by saying his goal for the night was to get the special-events permit ordinance ready to present to the full council.

By the end of the nearly 90-minute meeting, that goal was met.

The ordinance, which lays out rules and guidelines for event organizers, has not been updated in about 30 years.

Miller and Councilman David Post worked for 10 months last year to update the ordinance, but when they submitted the proposal Oct. 3, council members voted 3-2 not to pass it because the part of the ordinance dealing with First Amendment rights had not been updated.

At Monday’s committee meeting, Miller and Post worked with staff and community members to separate the free-speech portions — dealing with demonstrations, protests and picketing — from the special-events portions of the ordinance.

At the first committee meeting of the year, held Feb. 13, committee members decided the two topics are different enough to deserve two separate ordinances.

“Because those are two different things,” Miller said at the Feb. 13 meeting. “If I’m going to hold a Halloween costume party, that’s an event. If I’m going to protest something, then that’s a First Amendment, free-speech rights event.”

The last few details committee members wanted to adjust in the ordinance included clarifying definitions, finalizing rules on alcohol and firearms, and eliminating confusing language.

Miller and Post plan to put the updated ordinance to another vote at the City Council’s April 17 meeting.

The committee also discussed the permit guide that will help city staff and events organizers work out the details of special events.

Several committee members wanted to change a few lines of language in the permit guide, but Post, Miller and city staff members decided the language would be the responsibility of city staff since it is an administrative document and not law.

At the next meeting, Miller said the committee will write a preamble for the document, specifying what the city can and cannot regulate with regard to free speech and clarifying definitions that would be used in the ordinance dealing with First Amendment rights.

The next meeting will be at 5 p.m. April 10 at the Park Avenue Community Center.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

Comments

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide