Council members may repeal nightclub ordinance

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Updated: 7/30/2013 11:31 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Restaurant owner Blair Hughes says she's concerned about her businesses' future as well as others in Tupelo.

It all stems from the city's nightclub ordinance, passed in March by the Tupelo City Council and set to go into effect in October.

"Our main concern is the definition of a nightclub versus a restaurant," Hughes said. "The way that it's written right now, almost every restaurant in town at one time or another could be considered a nightclub."

That's why she addressed council members in Tuesday's work session.

Hughes says she believes it paints a negative picture for residents and visitors to Tupelo as well as potential future businesses.

"It kind of gets away from what we are so proud to consider ourselves, as an All-America City," Hughes said.

A map presented at the meeting shows just how Tupelo would be impacted, with white areas representing the only places where future restaurants could build -- if they were considered nightclubs.

It's because one of the provisions in the ordinance restricts nightclubs from being less than 2,500 feet from a residential area.

"The ordinance as adopted, that's to go into effect, basically killed a gnat with a nuclear bomb," Ward 2 Councilman Lynn Bryan said.

Bryan says the ordinance addressed only a small portion of Tupelo's businesses, but it ended up affecting everyone.

The Tupelo Police Department helped pen the ordinance in response to a 2011 shooting of a teenager outside Club Icon on McCullough Boulevard on New Year's Eve.

"We need to address the issue it was written for in the first place," Bryan said.

Bryan says the informal agreement by the council Tuesday sounds like they'll repeal the existing ordinance and go back to the drawing board, this time with input from restaurants.

"I think it was just over-studied, over-engineered, and just a Rube Goldberg of city ordinances," he said.

The Tupelo City Council is expected to address the issue next Tuesday at its regular meeting.

Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.

Copyright © 2009–2014 WTVA Inc. | Terms Of Use | Privacy | EEO Report | FCC Public Inspection File