Charleston City Council will consider giving final approval tonight to a one-year moratorium on new late-night bars in a large portion of downtown Charleston.
The moratorium, which passed a first reading on Sept. 23, would prohibit city offices from processing development applications and issuing permits to new businesses that allow on-premise consumption of alcohol between midnight and 6 a.m. The ordinance is up for a second and third reading tonight. City Council usually gives ordinances their second and third readings on the same night, although it is possible to delay a third reading to a third meeting. Here’s the ordinance:
The ordinance would be in effect until Sept. 22, 2015, about a year from the date of the first reading — although, as Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson pointed out at the last meeting, the moratorium has effectively been enforced since City Council considered its first late-night ordinance in May. At that time, city offices stopped issuing the relevant permits to new applicants pending a Council decision.
The moratorium passed its first reading by a 9-3 vote. The nay votes came from councilmembers Wilson, Dean Riegel, and Aubry Alexander. City Council will meet at 5 p.m. tonight at City Hall (80 Broad St.).
What do you think about the moratorium? Vote in our survey below or tweet your take using the hashtag #ChsLateNite.