Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa council takes no action on new rules for Ybor City nightclubs

TAMPA — The City Council spent about 90 minutes Thursday talking, yet again, about the idea of writing new regulations for Ybor City nightclubs.

And, yet again, it ended up hitting the pause button.

One reason: Ybor City's business community, which had coalesced around the idea of beefing up regulations for nightclubs, on Thursday showed up in force to oppose a proposed ordinance that would do just that.

Yes, bar owners said, the historic district has had its problems, but things are better now.

"We were able to get rid of the bad operators," longtime Ybor businessman Alan Kahana said. "We don't need another ordinance that's going to single out Ybor City"

At issue was a draft ordinance proposing five characteristics that would serve to define what a nightclub is. They included collecting a cover charge, requiring a drink minimum or having a dance floor. About 20 Ybor establishments have the 250- to 2,500-customer capacity the ordinance was written to address.

Those clubs would have been required to pay a fee of about $50 to obtain city permits and provide employees with crowd management training.

The city would have had the authority to suspend or revoke the permit if, in a 12-month period, a club had two instances of drug felonies, gun violations, violent crime or sales of alcohol to minors, or four instances of criminal possession of marijuana within six months.

A club that had its permit suspended would have had to hire extra-duty police officers to augment its security.

But bar owners worried they could be suspended if they worked with police and reported problems on their premises. Several council members were sympathetic, suggesting it would make more sense to focus on the actions of employees who are more under the bar owner's control.

Thursday's discussion was the latest in a debate going back more than two years. It started in late 2011 after shootings killed one man and wounded six more at two nightclubs — both now closed — in or near Ybor City.

On Thursday, most council members seemed willing to wait at least until April 24, when they are scheduled to hold a much more wide-ranging workshop on alcohol sales.

Tampa council takes no action on new rules for Ybor City nightclubs 04/17/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hurricane Maria's winds hit 175 mph as it aims at Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria barreled toward Puerto Rico on Tuesday night after wreaking widespread devastation on Dominica and leaving the small Caribbean island virtually incommunicado. …

    A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  2. Hillsborough School Board approves 2017-18 budget


    TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday approved a budget of $2.83 billion for the 2017-18 school year.

    Photo illustration. []
  3. All Eyes photo gallery: 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 79, collapses buildings in Mexico


    A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 79 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped. The quake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it …

    Rescuers work on a collapsed building on Amsterdam Avenue in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck, Sept. 19, 2017. Dozens have been reported killed across the country, including 42 in the state of Morelos, close to the epicenter of the quake, and at least 20 buildings in Mexico City have collapsed. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times) XNYT169
  4. Rays video tribute to ex-manager Joe Maddon upon return with Cubs


    Here is the Rays video tribute to former manager Joe Maddon, who returned to the Trop for the first time on Tuesday with his Cubs team:

  5. After Irma disruption, Miami eager to face Toledo


    LAKE BUENA VISTA — Like thousands of other evacuees, Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz headed north to escape Hurricane Irma with his family, two suitcases and the anxiety of not knowing what would happen to everything he left behind.

    Miami coach Mark Richt watches during a victory over B-CU in the Sept. 2 opener. The Hurricanes haven’t played since.