We mentioned this yesterday: The City Plan Commission will hold a public hearing tomorrow to discuss Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrano's proposed ordinance requiring businesses on Lower Greenville to get a specific use permit if they plan on staying open past midnight, among other proposed regs. Andrea, but of course, is planning a liveblog from the hearing, but on her website this afternoon Hunt pushes folks to support plans for the so-called Planned Development District and offers a few A's for those with a some Q's regarding the intent behind the ordinance. She writes:
Why is this being proposed?
Lower Greenville has lost its balance: too few restaurants, neighborhood pubs, and merchants open during the day and evening, and too many bars open only late at night. Nearby residents put up with the crime, noise, traffic, litter, and other problems that this over-saturation of problem bars brings to our neighborhood. Taxpayer dollars and city resources are thrown away in a losing battle to keep the area safe and under control late at night. Worst of all, YOU have few places to shop and spend quality time with your friends and neighbors. The retail mix does not reflect the surrounding area's makeup.
Why not just crack down on the "bad bars"?
The legal processes that the city has at its disposal to address this imbalance of businesses are not enough to fix the problem. When the city is successful in auditing a bad bar and persuading a court to close it down, another bad bar just takes its place. The process starts over. This piecemeal approach to enforcement has been tried for years and is never going to fix Lower Greenville. This proposal allows citizens to have input about who is open late at night, and holds bad operators accountable.
Are you trying to shut down Lower Greenville at midnight and close all the bars?
No! The goal is simply to bring some balance back to Lower Greenville and reduce the impact of businesses that operate late at night, not close down all bars or eliminate all nightlife. No businesses will be shut down as a result of this proposed permitting process. All businesses may continue to operate until midnight with no permit.
What other changes are envisioned for Lower Greenville?
If this permit requirement is approved, the city will spend $1.3 million of 2006 Bond Funds for an extreme makeover for Lower Greenville. Starting NEXT SUMMER, the blocks between Bell and Alta will be repaved with wider sidewalks, street trees, antique lighting with matching trash bins and benches, parallel parking, and improved pedestrian crosswalks. The rest of the street from Belmont to Bryan will be redone in the 2012 Bond Program.