city council workshop PHOTO

Greenville City Council met on Jan. 10 to discuss an amendment to a city gun law and stormwater regulatory changes.

Greenville, North Carolina, City Council’s first monthly workshop of the year was held on Jan. 10 to discuss stormwater regulatory changes and an amendment to a city gun law. 

Daryl Norris, civil engineer III, gave a presentation on proposed stormwater regulatory changes. Norris said the proposed changes are focused on water quality and quantity controls, greater flexibility and supply-chain management (SCM) operation and maintenance. He said the changes come from a 2021 year-long stakeholder process with the Stormwater Regulatory Committee (SRC). 

“The SRC is made up of developers, engineers and others, and the objectives were to satisfy the state and federal requirement through review of city ordinances and policies and recommend changes to those policies,” Norris said. 

State legislature from the Rules Review Commission issued modifications to rules and updates for stormwater regulations and Greenville is required to update their ordinances accordingly, Norris said. He said the update named the City of Greenville as part of the Neuse River Basin Nutrient Sensitive Water Management Program, making it the third stormwater program that the city is subjected to. 

Greenville’s Police Chief Mark Holtzman presented to the council an ordinance requested by the police department to amend Section 12-1-3 of the city code to once again include a criminal in addition to a civil penalty for the discharge of firearms within city limits. Holtzman said the charge was criminal for years until Dec. 1, 2021, when state legislatures changed all city codes to civil offenses resulting in only a fine being issued. 

“We’re living very close to one another here and our goal is to keep our neighborhoods safe and keep them quiet and keep things calm,” Holtzman said. 

If the council chooses to amend the new law, penalties will be reversed back to the original criminal charge of a Class 3 misdemeanor along with a civil penalty, Holtzman said. He said the amendment to the city code is the police department’s first priority in an effort to protect the community from gun violence. 

Holtzman said he brought the idea to the council workshop to make the city aware of the new law and invite public comment to further the agenda of gun safety within the community. No decision was made on Jan. 10, but there will be two readings to the council in February.  

“A lot of students are coming to a university and it's their first time maybe living in a city or living in a community like a city,” Norris said. “It’s important to know in the city limits of Greenville and the entire campus of ECU that you are not allowed to fire a firearm, you can’t shoot your gun in city limits.” 

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