City staff issue recommendations to manage Port City nightlife

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Friday, city of Wilmington staff released a draft of recommendations to improve downtown’s nightlife, including remaking how ABC permits are issued – reports our partners at the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

ABC permitting procedures are handled by the state ABC board, but the municipality can make recommendations about what is approved. The resolution will be voted on by the City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, April 20.

Some of the new factors included in the resolution for an ABC applicant in Wilmington include:

-No citations for overcrowding in the last 12 months

-No noise citations in the last 12 months, with warnings excluded

-Applicant has no DWI convictions in the last three years

-No more than 25 calls for “breaches of peace” within the past 12 months

-New applications for any new “private clubs” will not be recommended

-No permits for facilities with a “documented reputation and history of criminal activity associated with drugs, alcohol or crowd-related disturbances constituting a nuisance within the last 12 months.”

In the future, new ordinances may come regarding nightlife issues. Many of the recommendations are based off the Nightlife Taskforce Committee first created by Wilmington Downtown Inc. last year. Those recommendations were included in a letter to city council preceding the resolution about new ABC permitting standards.

Recommendations by the city staff regarding the CBD and downtown area include:

-New zoning requirements to “limit the number of ABC establishments in the CBD.” The way that the city suggests doing this is by instituting new “buffer zones” between establishments, but the zones would not limit where restaurants go. Current institutions would be grandfathered in.

-Only two levels of a building would be allowed to serve alcohol, with grandfather clauses to current establishments.

-A new tax district in the CBD to raise funds for new lighting and additional police officers specifically for the area.

-Restrict patrons under 21 years of age from being in a nightclub after 11pm.

-Requiring plastic or paper cups after 11 pm for all beverages in businesses that serve alcohol.

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