Changes coming next year for Lafayette bars

Carlee Alm-Labar, chief development officer of the Lafayette Consolidated Government, speaks during a Y-49 discussion meeting on the I-49 Corridor project hosted by the Acadian group of the Sierra Club at the Lafayette Public Library in downtown Lafayette, La., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015.
(Photo Credit: Paul Kieu, The Daily Advertiser)
Carlee Alm-Labar, chief development officer of the Lafayette Consolidated Government, speaks during a Y-49 discussion meeting on the I-49 Corridor project hosted by the Acadian group of the Sierra Club at the Lafayette Public Library in downtown Lafayette, La., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (Photo Credit: Paul Kieu, The Daily Advertiser)

LAFAYETTE, La. (The Daily Advertiser) – Changes may be coming next year that will affect bars and clubs in the city of Lafayette and unincorporated areas of the parish.

Carlee Alm-LaBar, director of planning for Lafayette Consolidated Government, told the City-Parish Council Tuesday several ordinances are nearly ready to be presented for adoption.

The proposed changes are the result of a review that started when her department was asked to look at a conditional use permit for Artmosphere, a quasi bar-restaurant downtown that’s in danger of being shut down.

The ordinances to be presented to the council first deal with repealing a bar levy that hasn’t been enforced since 2012, updating how points are assigned to bars for discipline, allowing the police department to temporarily close an establishment because of an emergency such as an act of violence, and updating the alcohol code.

In meetings with downtown Lafayette stakeholders about lifting a ban on bars or implementing a conditional use permit, Alm-LaBar said many don’t want new bars downtown until safety and security issues are addressed.

Cities across the country are struggling with their entertainment zones, she said. One of downtown Lafayette’s problems is its entertainment or hospitality zone hasn’t been formally identified as such.

According to the Responsible Hospitality Institute, cities with unplanned entertainment zones suffer from higher crime rates, increased risk of underage drinking, higher incidence of impaired driving and more noise and trash, Alm-LaBar said.

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