Sidewalk Seating Ordinance Survey Results

This is a cross-post from the Raleigh Downtown Living Advocates. I helped put together a member survey to get an idea of what people thought about the currently under trial outdoor dining ordinance.


During the month of October, the DLA conducted a survey that tried to get an idea of how things are going with the new sidewalk seating ordinance. DLA members were asked a few questions about how the levels of noise have changed recently and how they felt about the new ordinance.

The trial period for these new outdoor seating rules is almost over and we wanted to get the results over to the Raleigh City Council for consideration. Here are some key takeaways:

  • 14-17% believe that noise levels have decreased compared to 83-86% who believe the noise has either stayed the same, increased or are not sure.
  • 64% do not support the new ordinance compared to 16% that support it in its current form. The remaining 20% would support with minor changes.
  • 72% of residents who live within the borders of downtown do not support the ordinance.
  • 38% of Fayetteville Street District residents support the ordinance in its current form, compared to only 9% of those that live in Glenwood South.
  • 33% of residents who are over the age of 55 support the new ordinance, compared to 12% of those 55 or younger.

The majority of responses show that residents feel that noise levels have stayed the same.

The Fayetteville Street and Glenwood South districts were the two main areas under discussion throughout the draft of the new ordinance. Below is the breakdown of support between the two districts.

  • Glenwood South responses: 76
  • Fayetteville Street responses: 17

For the entire survey results, download them here.

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  1. The ordinance has been a stinker from the start. I was originally surprised to see how hard of a line the city was taking. That went away when I looked into the names of the biggest complainers and money behind them. Lets see if council and the mayor will be responsive to the masses or not.

  2. Leo,
    how about something on Caraleigh Commons S-32-15 off Maywood Ave. This is 57 SFD with 2 multi family on 2 lots. It will look like Dorothea Commons and will be great for the area between Lake Wheeler & Saunders Street. Great Site Leo!

  3. Good stuff happening in that area for sure. Sadly, I don’t make it down there often enough for me to want to cover it. It’s JUST outside of downtown in my book. :)

  4. This isn’t exactly news considering the new ordinances stemmed from complaints of FIVE downtown residents (aka 5 people who live downtown who should move).

  5. @Leo to BC: “it’s just outside of downtown in my book”:

    I’d like to second BC’s interest in Dorothea Gardens and Caraleigh Commons on the south side of downtown. This is the architecture, density, and streetscape that borders our future Dix Park. That makes it interesting.

    If we fell into a discussion on the proper boundaries for “downtown Raleigh”, you’d get a lot of different opinions. Let me just say that I for one don’t use the 1792 Christmas map anymore.

    More importantly: Congratulations on 1,000 posts, Leo. I check your blog each and every day, from :-) here on the south side!

  6. Renpark John, BC, I definitely have established my “coverage” area over the years. Maybe I need to rethink my definitions on the south side but right now I just don’t see the activity along Maywood as being something I could cover well enough. Realistically, I need to focus on a certain area and that’s what has always worked best for me.

    I will say thought that I do need to walk around Maywood and take some pictures as that area could be something special in a few years. Lots going on there! I WOULD be open to posting about the area if you could help me out, be the eyes on the street sort of, or even guest posts if you are interested.

    Thank you the kind words and for reading!

  7. Leo, I’m with you. The boundaries of DT are certainly fuzzy on their immediate edges but the leap to Maywood is a giant one, especially since the nature of the land planning in that area is almost exclusively car dependent. Putting it another way, I can’t imagine many people choosing to walk to the very center of the city from there or that many would think it was safe to do so (from a traffic perspective).

  8. @BC , I do understand about our readers not wanting any more baseball talk , but since the Maywood Area has come up , I have heard that someone has thought about a possible baseball stadium beside the Red Roof Inn on S. Saunders St., but only if Mr. Goodmon’s soccer deal does not happen !

  9. Thanks for that info, Dwight. I was not aware that anyone was considering a baseball or soccer stadium at South Saunders and I-40. But it reinforces my earlier point: that we should all be interested in whatever is happening on the near south side: bounded by downtown on the north, Dix Park on the west, and I-40 on the south.

    For those interested in the architecture, density, and streetscape of Dorothea Gardens, Rosengarten Park, Caraleigh Commons (and whatever comes next), a good starting point is and then follow the click on “initial presentation” to scroll through an easy-to-follow 41-page document, complete with maps.

    It will be interesting to see what this area will look like in 10 years, since it borders our new Dix Park and is only a 10-minute walk from the State Capital. Will an area this close to downtown really build out as single family neighborhood density?

    John, I’m not sure how to react to “the leap to Maywood is a giant one”. I routinely walk from Renaissance Park south of I-40 into downtown, noting Maywood as my halfway point. And every day I walk from Fayetteville Street out past the NC State campus to Reader’s Corner or Neomonde, then over to the Cameron Library and over Peace Street to the east side…just checking out the scene. I consider anything within a 20-minute walk of the State Capital building to be downtown – but again, that’s just one definition – my own definition.

    For what its worth, my own best guess is that everywhere within a 3 mile circle around the Capital will in 10 years look a lot like Glenwood South looks right now, and Dix Park will be the place to see and be seen…assuming our barely-conscious City government gets going on Dix with some more pathways, athletic fields, picnic shelters, amphitheatre, etc. I also hope they wake up on walkability and streetscape issues in general. Raleigh is behind the curve on these issues, given the progressive image they like to project.

    :-) Sorry – that was too long, but I don’t post often.

  10. @Dwight,

    Is Mr. Goodmon still working on a soccer deal now that Steve Malik has bought the Railhawks? I watched Mr. Malik’s press conference and he mentioned making professional soccer with in Raleigh and taking the Railhawks to the highest level. He’ll certainly need more investors to make that happen. I wonder if he is working with Mr. Goodmon on this. Your thoughts?

  11. @ Paul , Paul , I wondered the same thing ! I’m not on a good note with Mr. Goodmon because I have asked his VP , George Habel to read a article on Google “A Case For Pro Baseball In Downtown Raleigh ” ! by Scott Misner on 7-14-15 ! Scott is a UNC professor & he had his class research Raleigh baseball in 2010 & 2012. This is a great article , but Mr. Goodmon & Mr. Habel did not like some of the info. ! A friend of mine @ times does speak with Mr. Habel & if I hear anything on soccer, I’ll let you know .

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