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Dallas Bars Face Uncertain Future as City Votes for Ability to Shut Them Down

Dallas City Hall LGBT Minorities Bars Shut Down

A recent uprising of Dallas residents resisting the inevitable change that comes with living close to a growing city has given some city council members the ammo they need to suggest requiring bars apply for permits to be able to stay open after midnight.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, consumers in the Dallas metro area spend more on alcohol than consumers in any other city in the United States. Many of the most popular watering holes are located in growing entertainment districts juxtaposed to older residential areas. Some residents are in an uproar over the growth and expansion of nearby entertainment districts and want to see the operating hours of bars near residential areas restricted.

The new rules would allow the city to create a new “Late Hours Overlay” over certain zones, and require bars in those areas that wish to stay open after midnight to apply for a “Specific Use Permit” (SUP). City council would then have the ability to approve or deny the SUP. Bars would need to reapply for the SUP as the permit expires.

City Council would be able to deny permits for various reasons including the following:

  • They do not think the bar will “complement or be compatible” with the surrounding area.
  • They do not think the bar will “promote the welfare of the area” and “adjacent properties”.

This gives Dallas City Council full authority to deny permits to new or existing bars whether they are applying for the first time or are renewing.

This gives the current City Council (or future members) a powerful rubber stamp to discriminate.

The problem with this ordinance is that according to the language, if at any time it becomes an agenda item for conservative members of Dallas City Council, they could decide to deny permits to LGBT bars or to predominantly minority bars simply because they aren’t “compatible” with the surrounding area. For example, if a neighborhood believes a predominately minority bar affects property values, City Council could argue that the bar does not “enhance” the “adjacent properties”. This gives the current City Council (or future members) a powerful rubber stamp to discriminate.

The Zoning Commission will vote on the ordinance Thursday at 9 am. If it passes there, it will move on to planning and then to a final City Council vote.

If you would like to read the proposed language of the ordinance, you can download a copy here. If you live in Dallas, please contact your councilperson and let them know you do not support this loophole for discrimination.

 

Comments
  1. This goes along with houses being built near an airport long after the airport and flight paths were established. A bar or any business should not be required to close or relocate because new residents move in and are now complaining. Those businesses pay a lot in taxes. And the use of the term “Eminent domain” is just another way to swindle someone one out of their livelihood.

  2. Well. I kind of agree. If your place of business promotes leacherous acts, i wouldn’t want them near my home. Out with the old, in with the new.

    1. Who determines what is and isn’t “lecherous”? A small group of people flying whichever way the political wind blows!

      The problem with this is it gives politicians a backdoor to get rid of establishments they either don’t like or their constituents deem “unsavory”. It’s very subjective.

      What will happen is business owners will end up spending more money to buy council votes which will ensure that corruption will become a very visible mainstay where food and beverage is concerned.

      How about we reverse the roles on this for a second and put the onus on homeowners. Sorry, your property affects mine negatively in my opinion because of that ugly rainbow colored flag you’re flying on your front porch. So I’m going to get the city council to make you move
      because you’re a big dyke a loud bike, and you and your smelly, fishy lessie friends commit “lecherous acts” there. It doesn’t really compliment the good, God-fearing, family-friendly, haterhood that I feel we need here.

      See how it sucks when the shoe’s on the other foot, bitch?

  3. This article doesn’t tell you how to take direct action. I shouldn’t have to spend 10 minutes researching and still not know who to contact.

    The Zoning Board is appointed by the City Council. You’ve given us no direct information on who *specifically* to contact to express our opposition.

    Please do better!

  4. How do you get that they are discriminating against gay bars? This would apply to all bars. It has more to do with growing pains of a city and the residents that live near what they are calling now entertainment areas.

    I do agree that a city counsel shouldn’t have a carte blanche sort of law. The law should be with regards to specific reasoning. A public nuisance, sound ordinance, etc.

    1. Not that they are, but that it makes it so much easier to shut them down based on the ambiguity of the parameters. Deciding what “complements” a certain area seems quite subjective don’t you think?

  5. The city council doesn’t look at property value when evaluating a SUP and if a resident were to bring up property value as a reason to deny a permit, they will immediately dismiss that complaint. They do, however, look at how a late night establishment affect the health, safety and welfare of an area, so perhaps late night establishments will be encouraged to make sure that their patrons are being fair and respectful to the residents in an adjacent neighborhood or risk losing the privilege of staying open late.

  6. Translated: If we religious nuts feel having a bar open is against our forcibly imposed religious crap or that we don’t like gay people and drag shows we can make them stop.

  7. No mention of the people who work in service industry and will lose a TON of money by taking away their hours! We make a big portion of our money between 12 and 2. People need to stop moving into entertainment districts and demanding them to change! Move to the suburbs where u belong!!

  • Lolo Hunter

    No mention of the people who work in service industry and will lose a TON of money by taking away their hours! We make a big portion of our money between 12 and 2. People need to stop moving into entertainment districts and demanding them to change! Move to the suburbs where u belong!!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Genne Mikel

    Translated: If we religious nuts feel having a bar open is against our forcibly imposed religious crap or that we don't like gay people and drag shows we can make them stop.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • P Merritt

    The city council doesn't look at property value when evaluating a SUP and if a resident were to bring up property value as a reason to deny a permit, they will immediately dismiss that complaint. They do, however, look at how a late night establishment affect the health, safety and welfare of an area, so perhaps late night establishments will be encouraged to make sure that their patrons are being fair and respectful to the residents in an adjacent neighborhood or risk losing the privilege of staying open late.
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Daniel P Wilson

    How do you get that they are discriminating against gay bars? This would apply to all bars. It has more to do with growing pains of a city and the residents that live near what they are calling now entertainment areas. I do agree that a city counsel shouldn't have a carte blanche sort of law. The law should be with regards to specific reasoning. A public nuisance, sound ordinance, etc.
    UpVote Reply 3 Upvotes
    • M Kae

      Not that they are, but that it makes it so much easier to shut them down based on the ambiguity of the parameters. Deciding what "complements" a certain area seems quite subjective don't you think?
      UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Charlie

    This article doesn't tell you how to take direct action. I shouldn't have to spend 10 minutes researching and still not know who to contact. The Zoning Board is appointed by the City Council. You've given us no direct information on who *specifically* to contact to express our opposition. Please do better!
    UpVote Reply 2 Upvotes
  • Nancy Sherman

    Well. I kind of agree. If your place of business promotes leacherous acts, i wouldn't want them near my home. Out with the old, in with the new.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Fatula Crackhead

      Who determines what is and isn't "lecherous"? A small group of people flying whichever way the political wind blows! The problem with this is it gives politicians a backdoor to get rid of establishments they either don't like or their constituents deem "unsavory". It's very subjective. What will happen is business owners will end up spending more money to buy council votes which will ensure that corruption will become a very visible mainstay where food and beverage is concerned. How about we reverse the roles on this for a second and put the onus on homeowners. Sorry, your property affects mine negatively in my opinion because of that ugly rainbow colored flag you're flying on your front porch. So I'm going to get the city council to make you move because you're a big dyke a loud bike, and you and your smelly, fishy lessie friends commit "lecherous acts" there. It doesn't really compliment the good, God-fearing, family-friendly, haterhood that I feel we need here. See how it sucks when the shoe's on the other foot, bitch?
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Bill McClendon White

    This goes along with houses being built near an airport long after the airport and flight paths were established. A bar or any business should not be required to close or relocate because new residents move in and are now complaining. Those businesses pay a lot in taxes. And the use of the term "Eminent domain" is just another way to swindle someone one out of their livelihood.
    UpVote Reply 6 Upvotes
5 More Comments