GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – City leaders approved an ordinance Thursday night that will allow new bars to open within a defined area of downtown Greenville.
As it stood, the city had an ordinance that prevented new bars from opening within 500 feet of an existing one, a single family residence or an area zoned for single family residences. The city has been looking into modifying that rule to encourage more businesses to open.
This new “bar 2022″ ordinance only applies to a defined area between West 10th and West 3rd street as shown in the map below.
The ordinance comes with specific guidelines including, but not limited to, a 2,000 sq-foot size limit for bars, a requirement of Special Use Permit and additional safety guidelines.
Business owners and residents in Greenville spoke out Thursday during the discussion.
Jumail Blount, who is the owner of Area 22 Hookah Lounge, said he didn’t agree with the 500-foot rule as it stood because he feels isn’t fair.
“Honestly, I’m against the 500-foot-rule,” Blount said. “I’m for the bar 2022 rule, if it’s going to be expanded throughout the whole city. I think it opens the doors for unfairness for new business owners and some business owners that aren’t allowed to obtain an ABC permit.”
On the other hand, Greenville resident Travien Snow said he believed that things were fine the way they were.
“I feel like they should just keep it where it’s at,” Snow said. “There’s enough bars and liquor stores in Greenville. I’m pretty sure whether people go out or they go the club, they’re going to find something to drink. I don’t really think increasing the bars would be healthy.”
The “bar 2022″ ordinance was approved 5-1 Thursday evening. The council also gave directions to city staff about exploring additional areas of the city in which the “bar 2022″ rules could be applied. Staff will go back to council with that at a later date.