ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The city of St. Petersburg is working to crack down on businesses that don’t follow the rules. On Thursday morning, city council members will discuss revisions to the city’s code when it comes to selling alcohol late into the night.
Supporting documents in the agenda show a memorandum sent by the city’s attorney back in February. It outlined the revisions and went into detail as to why these changes needed to happen.
The city attorney tells council members they’re taking up this matter since the permit program shifted from the Business Tax Division to the office of the Police Legal Advisor. She went on to write that these changes should help with efficiency and communication.
At the beginning of the ordinance, there’s a narrative explaining the boom in bars, restaurants, and clubs in downtown St. Pete which draw big crowds past midnight.
The ordinance says this has created “negative impacts” and an increase for “security and law enforcement.”
Amendments were made to application requirements, permit suspensions, permit revocations, violations, and fees.
Businesses have to pay $100 to apply for an extended hours permit allowing them to serve alcohol past midnight. It’s the same price for a renewal, which went up $50.
New suspension criteria includes receiving two or more citations within two years instead of being convicted twice in the same period and failing to follow mitigation proposals submitted by the owners to avoid suspension in the first place.
If the amendments are approved, those licenses could be revoked if the business’s state alcoholic beverage license was suspended or revoked or if businesses fail to let the proper division know about a change in management.
If establishments appeal, they have to pay $250 then go before city council. City council members could uphold that decision and revoke their extended hours permit for a year.