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Wilmington City Council makes downtown changes

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council voted unanimously last night to recommend new criteria for ABC licenses downtown. While the city cannot issue a license, it can suggest whether or not the ABC board approves or denies permits.

Late last night Council established temporary guidelines. They include looking at an establishment's past violations. Wilmington Police suggested a one-strike policy, but Council amended that to a three-strike policy. The city will also look at the owner's record, Like if they've had a DWI, and how many citations a particular club has had, like noise violations.

"I don't think my business will be impacted," said Front Street Brewery owner Tom Harris, "but I think people who are trying to get permits are going to be scared of making investments in Wilmington."

Lately, the police department has not been recommending permits because it does not have the manpower to handle the crowds downtown. In the end, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous supported the council's decision, but he said he would like a more comprehensive policy when they revisit it in August.

Bar owners had mixed opinions. Now, they're hoping that the city will start to recommend new ABC permits.

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