Charleston bars to face some new rules if ordinance passes - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Charleston bars to face some new rules if ordinance passes

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The city of Charleston is proposing a new ordinance requiring more responsibility for bar owners. But only one of those proposed regulations is raising eyebrows.

The ordinance was brought to the table this week addressing several key issues in a city where the downtown nightlife is booming.

The late night entertainment establishment ordinance introduces several things from noise control to waste management to security staffing requirements.

Jim Curley, owner of AC's Bar and Grill on King Street, says the regulations are not unexpected. "These are issues that have been addressed before. If not codified into law they have been policies for the police department and Mayor's office and I think most people have been aware of them already and attempt to cooperate." 

Curley says he is perfectly content to follow every rule in the newly set ordinance -- except one. In the ordinance it is stated that after midnight there must be one security officer for every 100 people allowed by maximum capacity, regardless of if those people are there at the time or not.

"In this ordinance there is a staffing requirement for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday which treats Wednesday and Thursday as if we would have the same needs as on a Friday or Saturday." 

Curley's argument is they are never at max capacity on a week night, so why staff the security officers as if they were. "We find that on any given Wednesday we don't need the same staff as we need on a Friday," says Curley. 

 As far as the rest of the ordinances Curley says he understands the needs of the city to have the bars manage themselves more, he just asks for a little leeway in return. "We hope that one or more of the council members will offer an amendment that will reduce the staffing requirements so that it is not a burden on small business."

 

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