Orlando adds nightclub moratorium, special permit for downtown bars
The Orlando City Council voted Monday afternoon to impose a six-month moratorium on new nightclubs downtown and add a special permit for bars in the Downtown Entertainment Area that sell alcohol after midnight.
The city wants to use the moratorium to plan for a different mix of businesses downtown.
The permits are intended to improve safety. They come with new requirements for metal detectors and ID scanners.
They also require the nightclubs with a capacity of 125 or more to cover the ongoing cost of 30 extra-duty police officers patrolling the whole area on weekend nights.
"It's fair for those who are making money between 12 and 2 o'clock to bear that burden," Mayor Buddy Dyer said. "And that's what this ordinance does."
It was reworked after meetings with bar owners to cut the price for extra police and ease penalties for permit violators.
The special permits passed 5-2. Commissioner Tony Ortiz argued that making the 47 larger nightclubs pay all the cost of extra-duty officers is unfair.
Commissioner Jim Gray wanted tougher measures.