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Jax Beach tightens restrictions on alcohol ordinance for businesses looking to stay open late

According to the city, most of the Jacksonville Beach late-night establishments already have a permit to stay open late and changes made will impact new businesses.

*A previous version of this story suggested that all businesses would have to apply for a permit to serve alcohol after midnight. The story has been corrected.

On Monday, the City of Jacksonville Beach voted in favor of making stricter permit guidelines for businesses open late including implementing a safety plan that would ideally lead to fewer police call-outs.

This includes businesses applying for or transferring the late-night permit, which is called the 'Extended Hours of Operations Permit."

According to the city, most of the Jacksonville Beach late-night establishments already have the permit, but changes made will impact new businesses or ones that change ownership.

"In order to protect public health and safety of the residents of the City of Jacksonville Beach, the City finds it is in the best interest of the public health, safety and welfare to encourage responsible alcohol beverage establishments..," reads the ordinance.

New businesses or those that change ownership must apply for the permit, implement a security and emergency action plan, and pay an annual fee to be able to sell alcoholic beverages until 2 a.m.

In addition, the city says the permits are subject to suspension if the following activities are taking place in, or near the establishment.

The ordinance comes after the city says there has been "several incidents of disorderly and violent encounters" at establishments which has led to an increased cost of law enforcement.

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  • Illegal activities requiring a police presence that occurs on or adjacent to the premises of an alcoholic establishment with emphasis on illegal activities of owner, employees, patrons underage drinking incidents, open containers, disturbances and D.U.I's
  • Failure of any restaurant to maintain special outlines of an SRX such as derive 51% of gross revenue from food, be able to serve 150 people full course meals at any given time and other mandated requirements
  • Complaints verified arising from adverse effects of extended hours such as noise, illegal parking, vandalism, trash, loitering and exterior lighting issues
  • Violation of noise ordinance

Businesses found to be in violation will receive several warnings but will be fined $500 on the third violation. 

They could also have their extended hours permits revoked or suspended.  

The ordinance goes into effect 90 days from the date of adoption, which would be Feb. 2, 2020. 

Read the full ordinance here (Page 80).