Board paves way for extraordinary events
by Staff Writer
DAVIDSON – If the president or Bon Jovi comes to town, Davidson will be ready.
Commissioners approved at the Tuesday, June 12, town board meeting new ordinances preparing for parades and events, from special to extraordinary.
One new ordinance gives Town Manager Leamon Brice the power to declare an event extraordinary if it has national or international importance or brings a significant number of people to a certain area of town.
Cindy Reid, a town administrator, said the ordinance gives Davidson the tools to deal with large-scale events like a presidential debate at Davidson College, a national college athletics competition or an unexpectedly large concert.
Commissioner Jim Fuller had concerns about language that doesn’t clearly define what makes an event extraordinary.
“Built into this is a lot of flexibility for the town manager to declare an extraordinary event, which I think is a good thing,” Mayor John Woods said. “We can’t quantify it because things might come up that will fall outside of that.”
The board also banned sleeping on public property without permission, outside of camping at Fisher Farm Park.
The ordinances regulate camping, using town property for accommodation and occupation protest movements.
“You can protest all you want, you just can’t sleep where you’re protesting,” Reid said.
Commissioners also passed an ordinance consolidating rules for parades and special events.
New rules prohibit obstructions, noxious substances, fires and attachments to public property without permission.
Public assemblies and events require three-months notice. First Amendment-protected events such as political protests only require 30 days notice to allow Davidson police to prepare.
“People have the constitutional right to assemble, to demonstrate, to have free speech, and to be protected in that right,” Davidson Police Chief Jeanne Miller said.
Board members also approved new rules to allow murals to cover entire walls with only town design review board approval. Davidson Farmers Market visitors will likely see a new mural on the side of the Summit Coffee building in the coming months.