Attorney David Murray obtained a decision from the Mecklenburg County Superior Court reversing a City of Charlotte Zoning Board of Adjustment (“ZBA”) decision which found his client in violation of the City of Charlotte Zoning Ordinance for its operating of a new building addition on the property after 11:00 p.m.
The client, 2200 Park, LLC, d/b/a Ed’s Tavern is a local restaurant and bar which has been a staple in the Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte for many years. In 2016, Ed’s came under new management who decided to construct a new addition on the back of the existing historic restaurant building. The new addition was approved by Mecklenburg County building standards and the Historic District Commission. In approximately May 2017, the City of Charlotte zoning code enforcement issued a notice of violation to Ed’s for their use of the new addition after 11:00 p.m. The notice alleged that the new addition did not meet the spirit and intent of being a “permanent building” under the zoning ordinance.
Murray appealed the notice of violation on behalf of Ed’s and proceeded to a hearing before the ZBA. The City alleged that the new addition was actually an outdoor space since it had used the preexisting deck flooring and had opening garage doors. The zoning ordinance itself only required the building to have a permanent roof and permanent walls, which was not disputed at the hearing. Regardless, the Zoning Board of Adjustment held that the notice of violation was correct and voted 5-0 against Ed’s to affirm the notice.
Thereafter, Murray appealed the ZBA decision to the Mecklenburg County Superior Court. A hearing was held in June 2018. At the close of the hearing, the superior court judge adopted Mr. Murray’s arguments, determined that the City and ZBA’s interpretation and application of the zoning ordinance was incorrect, and reversed the ZBA's decision, ordering that the notice of violation be rescinded. The court’s order was not appealed by the City.