In May 2013 a resident of Forest Acres addressed City Council. The News and Observer writer Colin Campbell interviewed him and wrote the following story.
RALEIGH Residents of the Forest Acres neighborhood off Wake Forest Road haven’t been able to sleep much lately.
The neighborhood sits a few hundred yards behind an industrial park where two busy nightclubs have set up shop. “These two nightclubs play their music extremely loud every day of the week, ” said John Lucero, who lives in Forest Acres.
Neighbors have called police countless times, but it’s not long before the clubs amp up the volume again, Lucero told the Raleigh City Council last week. He said the experience is similar to living next to a car with a thumping bass.
“That’s what we sleep with every night of the week, ” he said. “It’s unbearable. … We put earplugs in our ears just to sleep.”
The problem isn’t just noise. Lucero said gunshots are a common occurrence, and the nightclubs are a magnet for crime.
According to police records released Friday, Raleigh officers have received more than 45 reports of loud music since November. They’ve had to conduct crowd control a dozen times and investigated 18 assault reports – two of which were attacks on a police officer. They’ve handled four reports of gunshots and three fights during the same period.
And while they respond to all the calls, police haven’t been able to put an end to the festivities. “They say that their hands are tied, all they can do is give out citations, ” Lucero said.
After hearing from Lucero, the city council asked City Attorney Tom McCormick to look into a solution. McCormick said two legal actions are possible, one of which could mean jail sentences for the clubs’ operators.
“Another proceeding allows you to close an establishment, ” McCormick said. “We’ll decide which, if either one of those, is the best way for the city to proceed.”
Paula Street is an odd location for nightlife. It’s a short dead-end road off Hodges Street and Wake Forest Road, home to a cluster of 40-year-old warehouse-style buildings.
One of the clubs, The Velvet Room, is located in a prefab warehouse built in 1969 that’s owned by Michael T. Parks of Raleigh, according to property records. Its Facebook page advertises “the sexiest party” where customers are encouraged to arrive early to avoid lines and women are admitted free before 11 p.m. No one answered a phone number listed for the business on Monday.
The other club, El Tucanazo, is in a 1972 commercial building owned by Azim and Shahnaz Najafie of Raleigh. It has no website or listed phone number.
McCormick said he’ll provide a report to the city council soon detailing the next steps for quieting the noise.