He’s blasting Top 40 music on Myers Park’s golf course

Plus: Christmas movie films in Cotswold; Charlotte's top news of the week; Links to good reads on challenges facing arts groups; Ronnie Long's new freedom, Beatties Ford Road changes; Teen Talk quiz

This post originally appeared in the September 12, 2020, edition of The Charlotte Ledger, an email newsletter delivering original local news and analysis in Charlotte. Sign up for free here:


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Amid landscaping dispute, homeowner blares tunes near No. 6 green to force country club to negotiate; ‘It’s the only way’

by Tony Mecia

The golf course at Myers Park Country Club is usually a quiet place. Birds chirp. There’s an occasional whoof of a club or the low hum of a golf cart.

But that tranquility has been shattered on the course’s 6th green in the last week, where 71-year-old homeowner David Krug is staging a not-so-silent protest against one of Charlotte’s oldest and most exclusive country clubs.

He set up a sound system in his backyard, bought a couple speakers that look like rocks and has been blasting top-40 music from Hits 96.1 toward the course, which is just 150 yards or so from his Sharon Road house. On Monday afternoon of this week, Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” was blaring at 78 decibels, according to Krug’s noise meter — just under the threshold of the city’s noise ordinance. He says his son told him to get a Metallica CD.

Krug’s pop-music protest is part of an escalating dispute with Myers Park Country Club that started not long after he moved into the 5,500 s.f., $2.7M house this summer. It apparently started with his plans to build a swimming pool, followed by the club’s move to plant a row of trees that will eventually grow to more than 50 feet tall and block the majestic golf-course view from his yard.

VIDEO: This was the scene from Krug’s backyard on Monday. He was playing Hits 96.1 at 78 decibels. The country club planted the smaller trees behind his swimming pool, which is under construction. But they could grow to 50-60 feet and obscure his view.

Although golfers probably assume he’s being a jerk (or worse), Krug says creating a ruckus might compel the club to work with him to find a solution acceptable to both sides.

“It’s the only way I can get their attention,” he says. He says his next-door neighbors don’t mind the loud music because they also resent the club’s heavy-handed efforts to screen out their views, too. “They said ‘Have at it.’”

Myers Park Country Club didn’t reply to emails this week from The Ledger seeking comment. General manager Mark Bado didn’t return a phone call Friday.

Krug, a real estate developer, had been living in Myers Park, closer to Queens University of Charlotte. But, drawn by the backyard view, he says, he bought the Sharon Road house that was built in 2017 in late June. Within a week, he hired a company to build a pool. Construction started in late July. Unlike at many new golf course developments, Myers Park does not have a homeowners association that approves architectural or landscaping plans. Myers Park Country Club moved to its current site in 1921, and the golf course opened in 1944.

Swimming pool as last straw: In late August, Krug says, the club cut down two pine trees on club land near his property line. The following day, a group of club employees was meeting near his house, and he approached them to ask what they were doing. He says the club’s director of golf operations told him the club would be planting fast-growing green giant trees and magnolia trees — each of which can grow to at least 50 feet tall. The golf director told him the club was unhappy about a neighbor’s new pool and that Krug’s construction of a new pool was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

It’s unclear why Myers Park Country Club might oppose the construction of swimming pools. Houses on other nice golf courses in town have pools. It could be because the residential lots are so close to the course.

Krug says those concerns are overblown since he’s almost 72 years old: “I’m not going to be having wild parties and doing backflips,” he says. Still, he says he’s open to some form of screening — just not one that will obscure all of his view. He says 15- to 20-foot trees or bushes would be more reasonable.

BEFORE AND AFTER: Krug’s backyard used to have a straight line of sight to the golf course (top photo). But then he started building a pool, and the club planted green giants and magnolias near his property line two weeks ago (bottom photo). They could eventually grow to the height of the Leyland cypress trees to the right.

A week later, with scarcely any time to work collaboratively on a solution, the club started planting the trees. He says he told the club’s general manager he’d like to make his case to the board but was told “that ain’t going to happen.”

Krug says he wants club members to know that club management didn’t have to spend $30,000 on trees. He says he’s still willing to work with the club on a solution, such as buying the trees from them and planting them elsewhere on his property. But he says he had not heard from club management as of Friday.

He has hired a lawyer but says it was a little tricky. Some of the city’s top land-use lawyers are members of the club, he says.

Krug acknowledges that the country club probably has a right to plant trees on its property but just wants its leadership to be reasonable: “Tell me how you can be a good neighbor when you do something like that with zero notice.”

And he says he has rights, too, like the right to play loud music at his house — even music he doesn’t like.

“I’m trying to prove a point,” he says.


Christmas in September in Cotswold

Despite 80-degree temperatures, a house on Wonderwood Drive in Cotswold was transformed into a cozy winter wonderland through the magic of Hollywood this week. Crews were shooting a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Today’s supporting sponsor is Soni Brendle:


Teen Talk quiz — test your knowledge

Over the past several weeks, The Ledger has aimed to bridge the generation gap by asking our teenage sources to give us vocabulary lessons using their favorite teen slang words. In the spirit of school being back in session, we’ve devised this simple Teen Talk quiz to see how well you’ve learned some of these new words. The first five readers who email cristina@cltledger.com with the correct answers get a souvenir Charlotte Ledger “40 Over 40” koozie.

1. Those fancy “schoolcations” offered at the Four Seasons Orlando seem like a really ______ way to do remote schooling.
a) cap
b) boujee
c) highkey
d) yeet
e) flex

2. Panthers fans are hoping new QB Teddy Bridgewater can _____ the football to D.J. Moore in the end zone on Sunday.
a) cap
b) boujee
c) highkey
d) yeet
e) flex

3. Big _____: I turned 16 yesterday, and my parents bought me a new Tesla!
a) cap
b) boujee
c) highkey
d) yeet
e) flex

4. See this salad? I grew all the vegetables in it from my own garden, and that’s no ____.
a) cap
b) boujee
c) highkey
d) yeet
e) flex

5. I ____ love the milkshakes infused with doughnut bits they serve at the new Krispy Kreme in South End.
a) cap
b) boujee
c) highkey
d) yeet
e) flex


This week in Charlotte: UNCC launches Covid safety measures, Earth Fare makes a comeback, CMS gets reopening metrics in place and a Duke grad makes the Supreme Court shortlist

On Saturdays, The Ledger sifts through the local news of the week and links to the top articles — even if they appeared somewhere else. We’ll help you get caught up. That’s what Saturdays are for.

Politics

  • Campaigning during Covid: (WFAE) North Carolina’s Democratic candidates are largely campaigning via Zoom and mail while Republicans are more likely to head out to in-person fundraisers or rallies, WFAE’s Steve Harrison reports.

  • Supreme Court shortlist: (Observer) Allison Jones Rushing, a 38-year-old western North Carolina native and Duke University law school grad is on President Donald Trump’s short list for possible Supreme Court nominees. Rushing, whom Trump nominated to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019, was among 20 people on a list that includes three sitting Republican senators, including 2016 presidential rival Ted Cruz. She clerked for Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

Education

  • CMS reopening metrics: (Ledger) All eyes will be on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School board next week, as it reconvenes Wednesday to talk about how and when to reopen buildings to students. On Thursday, the district’s Metrics Advisory Committee locked in on a metrics dashboard the school board can use to help decide a reopening plan.

  • CMS lawsuit: (Ledger) A group of parents with children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the school district to open schools. The suit alleges that the board’s decision in July to move to fully online instruction was not supported by medical evidence and violates the North Carolina Constitution. The suit also names the North Carolina Association of Educators as a defendant and says that members of NCAE “organized a campaign to improperly influence and intimidate [school] Board members” and Superintendent Earnest Winston to abandon in-person instruction. 

  • UNCC reopening (Ledger, subscriber-only): UNC Charlotte has delayed reopening its campus longer than many other UNC campuses statewide, and writer Pam Kelley shows the prevention and detection strategies the school is using — including testing wastewater from dorms and other locations around campus for viral loads of Covid. Remote instruction started Monday and will continue until at least Oct. 1.

Local news

  • Turkey Trot goes virtual: (cltturkeytrot.com) The SouthPark Turkey Trot, which draws 9,000 runners each year on Thanksgiving morning, is going virtual due to Covid. Runners or walkers can still register for the race, and they’ll receive a T-shirt and medallion. A portion of money raised will go to the non-profit Samaritan’s Feet to provide shoes for Charlotte area children in need.

  • Beatties Ford Road projects: (Agenda) City leaders on Wednesday unveiled a series of improvements slated for three intersections along the Beatties Ford Road corridor, part of a $24.5M “corridors of opportunity” investment program in six corridors throughout Charlotte. The five other corridors in the project are: Central/Albemarle, Freedom Drive/Wilkinson, Graham Street/North Tryon, Sugar Creek/I-85 and West Boulevard.

  • Arts groups reopening plans: (Observer) Outdoor performances, smaller gatherings and a continuation of virtual offerings are all in store for Charlotte’s performing arts groups like the Charlotte Symphony, Charlotte Ballet and Opera Carolina. Here, leaders of these major arts players explain their plans for the fall and next year.

  • Child shooting death: (WSOC) A 14-year-old was charged with involuntary manslaughter after the shooting death of a 5-year-old girl in the Hidden Valley neighborhood northwest of uptown Wednesday night. An adult who lives in the apartment where the shooting happened was charged with failing to secure a firearm to protect a minor. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Maj. Ryan Butler told reporters: “This morning, there was a 5-year-old girl who got up and had breakfast and played. And now, that 5-year-old girl is not with us anymore.”

Business

  • Earth Fare comeback: (Ledger) The Ledger broke the story Wednesday that organic grocer Earth Fare, which closed all of its 50 stores and filed for bankruptcy in February, has plans to re-open at least five stores in the Charlotte market. Earth Fare has signed leases to reopen its old stores in Ballantyne, Fort Mill, Concord and SouthPark. It’s also scouting an undisclosed fifth Charlotte-area spot. One member of the new leadership team is someone longtime Charlotteans may remember — Randy Talley, who was the owner of the old Talley’s Green Grocery in Dilworth (now Fresh Market on East Boulevard).

  • SouthPark from the sky: (Ledger) This week’s Flyover Friday takes us to a new development in the middle of SouthPark called Apex SouthPark. It’s a mix of 345 apartments, restaurants, retail, a Hyatt Centric hotel and a church.

Voter guides

It’s not too early to start boning up on who the candidates are in the many races you’ll be voting on in November. Here are links to two voter guides that published this week:

  • The Charlotte Observer’s voter guide allows you to type in your address and view your ballot, with links to information about the candidates and races.

  • Charlotte Agenda’s guide is an easy-to-read tour of the races, with context about why they matter.

Good reads

  • Saving Charlotte’s stages: The Biscuit came out with a multimedia special edition this week focused on the challenges confronting the performing arts in Charlotte. “Our stages have given all of us so many wonderful moments over the years. They need our love as they experience a moment now,” Tim Miner and Matt Olin wrote. It included a look at the Teen Actor’s Lab, a photo essay on Charlotte’s empty stages and an article by the floor manager of NoDa’s Neighborhood Theatre.

  • Ronnie Long as a free man: (Observer) The Charlotte Observer’s Michael Gordon traveled to the Durham home of Ronnie Long, who spent 44 years behind bars for a rape he says he never committed and was freed last month after a judge threw out his 1976 conviction. Now, he’s living with his 35-year-old wife whom he met while behind bars, and is trying to navigate a different world than the one he left. “I want to rip and run,” he says. “I want to smell the air. I want to go in the woods.”

  • Charlotte’s black history explained: (QC Nerve) Queen City Nerve published its fourth story in a series by local historian and writer Pamela Grundy about Charlotte’s black history, looking at how urban renewal, blockbusting and redlining tore apart the social fabric of Charlotte’s black communities.

  • Dianne Gallagher returns to Charlotte: (Observer) CNN’s Dianne Gallagher, who was a reporter at WCNC from 2012-2015, is becoming CNN’s first and only national correspondent to be based in the Carolinas — a coup for Gallagher’s career and her marriage, as she is married to Alan Cavanna, a Charlotte-based NASCAR reporter.


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Executive editorTony MeciaManaging editorCristina BollingContributing editor: Tim Whitmire, CXN AdvisoryReporting intern: David Griffith