The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved tight new controls on event halls that currently are almost totally unregulated and police say have spawned a number of violent incidents.
The new ordinance "makes the owners of the property just as responsible as the promoters," Travis McDonough, the mayor's chief of staff, said.
There will be a new requirement for a special gathering permit in cases where an event:
- Continues after midnight
- Beer or liquor is on the premises and there is no beer or liquor license
- 50 or more people are gathered.
If there are two violations of the terms of the permit, then the establishment cannot gain another permit for at least a year.
Mr. McDonough said under the ordinance, the halls cannot operate past 3 a.m., cannot allow minors to drink alcohol, and must report incidents of violence.
He said under the current scenario the event halls are operating past the 3 a.m. closing time for bars and they are not required to get any type permit. He said they do not have to follow any of the requirements that bars do.
"Now there is no lasting consequence for bad behavior," he said.