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Council Weigh Ordinance to Regulate After Hours Clubs | Government and politics

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SIOUX CITY — Sioux City Council will be asked Monday to pass an ordinance that would require after-hours clubs within city limits to be permitted.

The ordinance would allow the city to regulate venues that operate between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. for the purposes of “entertainment, social gathering, dancing, live or recorded music, or games of skill or chance. “. In recent years, these types of clubs have been the scene of multiple shootings and other criminal activities.

In the early morning hours of October 10, officers were dispatched to a gun call at an after-hours club at 427 Pierce St., where they found a man with a gunshot wound potentially fatal to the upper body. Shortly after, three more victims arrived at the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The shooting was the result of an argument between two groups of people at the club, which has since closed, according to police.

“We’ve had homicides. We’ve had shootings. Physical disorders are quite common. There have been allegations of gambling and drug use and/or dealing in these places,” the police detective from Sioux City. Josh Tyler told the Journal.

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Tyler said he only knows of one after-hours club in the city. But, he said, the city had as many as three clubs open after hours at the same time.

If the proposed order is passed, existing clubs will be granted a temporary license to continue operating for 180 days after the order takes effect. Then they should comply and abide by the order.

“Right now we have a business that’s trying to operate within that. It has nothing to do with that particular business,” Tyler said of the order’s recommendation. “Nationally, (clubs after hours) are problematic during those hours. It’s more of a preventative measure.”

Tyler compared the operation of clubs after hours to a “house party”. Since there is no specific ordinance in place to regulate them, clubs are not subject to the same checks and balances as establishments that have liquor licenses.

“Right now they’re not as problematic as they used to be. For a while I’d say they were a regular problem for the night shift (officers),” Tyler said of the clubs. after office hours. “You find that it’s usually the same group of people who run them. It’s a group of four or five people who, ‘Today is my club’ and then, ‘Next month, that’ is your club.'”

Under the proposed order, owners of after-hours clubs would be required to pay $175 to apply for or renew a license, which would be valid for a period of one year. As a condition of the application, the owners would agree to allow the city’s inspection services and fire departments to inspect the premises to confirm compliance with city code standards. Licensees should also carry liability insurance.

Police officers would be allowed into clubs during opening hours to confirm liquor laws were being followed. According to the city code, the consumption of alcoholic beverages in premises accessible to the public is prohibited from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Sundays. No one under the age of 21 would be allowed in an after-hours club during opening hours. Clubs could not be located in areas of the city that are zoned residential or operate in licensed premises.

A club open after hours in violation of the ordinance would be declared a “nuisance” and the owner of the premises in which it operates would be guilty of a municipal offence, according to the proposed ordinance. Its license would be suspended if the licensee or the licensee’s employee, agent or contractor commits a “specific criminal incident” at the club or “recklessly permits” to occur there, or is ordered to reduce a nuisance to the club.

The license of an after-hours club would be revoked if the licensee or the licensee’s employee, agent or contractor committed or knowingly permitted another to commit murder or intentional homicide. The license would also terminate if the club’s license had been suspended within the previous 12 months and the licensee or the licensee’s employee, agent or contractor again commits a criminal incident or knowingly permits produce.

Under the proposed order, the city manager would issue a letter of intent to deny, suspend or revoke the license of an after-hours club. Licensees would be allowed to request a hearing to challenge any denial, suspension or revocation within 20 days of the date of the letter.