Nightclub ordinance debated at city council meeting

Tampa, Florida -- The Tampa City Council discussed stiffer penalties for nightclubs in Ybor City on Thursday.

Ybor by day and Ybor by night - some say the difference is black and white. However, that's not the case though for the new nightclub ordinance.

"Most people down here are still confused," said Ybor City Jazz Club manager Corey Cane.

During public comment, Tampa City council heard from some restaurant and bar owners who are well versed on the proposed ordinance – which was started by some of their own years ago.

"We don't need to punish good operators for past bad behavior - singling out Ybor City."

Under the proposal the a yearly $50 permit would be required and the permit could be revoked after four violations, such as serving alcohol to minors.

Click here to read the complete ordinance

Attorney George Werner represents interested parties who don't support the changes. He explains why not everyone is in favor of it, especially since the definition of nightclub has changed, "You don't qualify as a nightclub, for instance, if you serve food until closing."

"The police come, search, and find drugs in the pocket - could be a felony. Short of searching people at the door you cant prevent that. Why not search people? That would be bad for Tampa, no one else does it and this is a tourist destination."

While some business owners are hesitant, some patrons think this ordinance could help business.

"I think there is good rational behind it - I don't think it will change anything, if it did it would be for the better." said Brittany Amboyan.

The motion was killed and this issue has been put off until a meeting next week when they'll be addressing similar issues citywide.


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