City tightens rules for bars, night clubs

May. 22, 2014 @ 04:24 PM

Monroe City Council made some changes to the zoning ordinances, specifically what businesses are permitted in the General Business category. 

The amendment requires a special permit for bars and night clubs instead of allowing them "by right" as part of the zoning General Business zoning district. 

The change stems from a rezoning application presented to council at their April 1 meeting when applicants Thomas E. Helms and Kevin M. Helms requested their .75-acre property on the corner of Charlotte Avenue and Dickerson/Martin Luther King Blvd be rezoned to general business from R-20 (residential) in order to accommodate a wide range of activities and market the property. 

When shown the list of "by right" general business uses, council members noticed that bars and nightclubs were listed. Council member Lynn Keziah said he did not think they needed night clubs or bars in that area. 

Council tabled the decision until May so they could study and perhaps change the general business zoning, to the objection of the applicant. 

Tuesday, council unanimously approved an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance and the request to rezone the Charlotte Ave property to general business. The vote was 6-0, with Keziah absent from the meeting. 

A staff document explained that the city has one general commercial zoning district, designed to accommodate the widest range of commercial uses. The staff drafted an amendment to remove bars and night clubs from the "by right" usage in the general business districts, requiring a special use permit. 

However, bars and night clubs are still permitted "by right" in the Central Business District.