Crowd fills Tampa Council chambers for bar closing times proposa - WFLA News Channel 8

Crowd fills Tampa Council chambers for bar closing times proposal

Posted: Updated:
Bar and club owners packed into Tampa City Hall Thursday to ask council members not to vote for an ordinance that could cost them to stay open late. Bar and club owners packed into Tampa City Hall Thursday to ask council members not to vote for an ordinance that could cost them to stay open late.
Bar and club owners packed into Tampa City Hall Thursday to ask council members not to vote for an ordinance that could cost them to stay open late. Bar and club owners packed into Tampa City Hall Thursday to ask council members not to vote for an ordinance that could cost them to stay open late.
Citizens tell Tampa City Council members what they think of the proposal. Citizens tell Tampa City Council members what they think of the proposal.
Citizens tell Tampa City Council members what they think of the proposal. Citizens tell Tampa City Council members what they think of the proposal.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa City Council chambers were filled to capacity Thursday morning as city leaders began discussing a controversial proposal to change bar closing times from 3 a.m. to midnight. At the meeting, Council Member Yvonne Capin moved to delay it to a workshop on Feb. 27 at 9 a.m.

So many people showed up for the meeting, a special overflow area was opened for the large crowd.

As of 9:45 a.m., more than 20 people were still lined up to speak before the council.  Council Member Yvonne Capin moved to discuss the ordinance at a Feb. 27 workshop, with public hearings to follow.  Council members have not yet voted on the matter.

Bar and club owners had planned to pack Tampa City Hall Thursday to ask council members not to vote for an ordinance that could cost them to stay open late.

The proposed ordinance would require some bars and clubs to apply for a business use permit if they want to stay open past midnight. Current rules allow them to stay open until 3 a.m.

Related story: Tampa considers closing bars at midnight

"We have a lot of regulation already in this world and we're creating regulation that's not even necessary," said Ybor City business owner Jason Fernandez.

Under the proposal, extended hours privileges could be revoked for bad behavior, including drug use, violent crimes, and serving alcohol to minors. Several bar owners told News Channel 8 they support weeding out problem spots, but worry how much the annual permit would cost.

Councilman Mike Suarez said the ordinance is intended to make the permitting process easier. It is not intended to make everyone close at midnight, he said.

"Because that original intent has been obscured by what people believe it doesn't make sense for us to try to pass this now," Suarez said Wednesday. "I would like us to start over again, go back, talk to all these business owners and make sure they understand what we were trying to do. And secondly, find out what they think would be a better process."

The Tampa Alcohol Coalition supports the proposed ordinance. Founder Ellen Snelling said it could reduce the high number of DUIs in Hillsborough County, as well as late night crime and underage drinking.

The meeting started at 9 a.m. Council members are scheduled to vote on a first reading of the ordinance.

Check back with WFLA.com for updates.

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Tuesday, April 1 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-04-02 03:26:55 GMT
    "Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo"Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
  • Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 7-13

    Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 7-13

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:47 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:47:28 GMT
    We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 7 to 13, 2014.
    We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 7 to 13, 2014.
  • Knoxville woman finds body under deck during Easter egg hunt

    Knoxville woman finds body under deck during Easter egg hunt

    April 18, 2014 07:19 AM 2014-04-20 00:38:25 GMT
    A mother was shocked to discover the odor she'd smelled was a dead body underneath the deck of her Knoxville home.
    A mother was shocked to discover the odor she'd smelled was a dead body underneath the deck of her Knoxville home.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.