Batalá Durham performing outside DBAP.
In an email to Durham City Council member Charlie Reece yesterday, city manager Tom Bonfield said that Batalá Durham would be allowed to rehearse at Durham Central Park Monday without receiving a citation or being shut down by the police.
The samba-reggae percussion ensemble had received permission from Durham Central Park to practice on Monday nights this summer
. But on three occasions, complaints from a resident at the Liberty Warehouse Apartments across the street has prompted the police to shut the rehearsals down; on Monday, the Durham Police Department warned Batalá that any further complaints would lead to a citation
On Friday morning, Reece submitted on behalf of Batalá an application for a special permit, which would “allow Batalá Durham to continue their rehearsals at Durham Central Park in full compliance with the noise ordinance,” while not putting the DPD in a sticky situation. (Batalá, after all, was likely in violation of the city’s strict noise ordinance.)
That afternoon, Bonfield wrote Reece back. “I will have our special events folks (which is broader than just DPD) expedite a look at this special event permit request,” he wrote. He said that while he was not comfortable unilaterally approving the permit without a staff review, and while he was doubtful that the application would be processed in time for Monday’s rehearsal, “that should not deter them from conducting their practice at that time and location as they have all summer. I have asked the police department [that] should a complaint be made to simply respond and document what they find but not disrupt the rehearsal.”
“Looks like Batalá is good to go for this Monday,” Reece told the INDY
in an email. “I’ll be there with my girls, it should be a event to celebrate Batalá’s music and to collect school supplies!”
In his email to Bonfield, Reece said the city council “will be reviewing certain changes to [the city’s noise] ordinance in the weeks and months to come that would resolve this specific issue,” as Durham Central Park has asked the city to do