TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa City Council member Gwen Henderson said she plans to call for businesses in the Ybor City Historic District to temporarily close at 1 a.m. to deal with violence.
The proposal comes less than a week after a deadly mass shooting that left two people dead and 16 others injured.
“The temporary abatement would last for 6 months, during which time the city would study violence in Ybor and identify potential solutions,” Henderson said in a prepared statement.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said she favors the move as one method to keep Ybor City safe.
“Well, we’re looking at the legality, legal issues associated with that and that’s something that we have tried a lot of approaches to Ybor City as it grows and prospers through the years,” Castor said.
There have been curfews in Ybor before. The last effort was deemed unconstitutional in 2015. Castor said she knows the move will draw criticism from bar owners.
“We can meet with the bar owners and talk about what’s best for Ybor City,” she said. “We will do it in the best interest of the community and that includes business owners. That includes individuals that are coming down here. That includes residents.”
Khalilaa McDuffie owns 7th and Grove in Ybor City and said closing at 1 a.m. would significantly hurt her business.
“That would make a big difference on us, a big difference in our income, our staff, our labor, it will affect us,” McDuffie said.
“That’s a large time when we make our money,” she said.
Henderson plans to make her proposal at the Thursday Tampa City Council meeting.