New establishments could need neighbors' ok before serving alcoh - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

New establishments could need neighbors' ok before serving alcohol

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MANDEVILLE, LA (WVUE) - Under a proposed ordinance, new bars and restaurants in St. Tammany Parish could be required to get neighbors' approval before they can serve alcohol.

Parish Councilman Martin Gould said the proposal is meant to protect residents. He said throughout the parish, a comprehensive rezoning four years ago put solely residential communities right next to areas designated for heavy commercial use.

"You could imagine if somebody put a big-box honky tonk right next door what it would do to those people's peace," said Gould.

Thursday at the St. Tammany Parish Council meeting, Gould introduced an ordinance that would require new businesses near residential areas to get the permission of 50 percent of homeowners in the nearest subdivision or permission from the nearest homeowners association before serving alcohol.

"You're going to have to get the consent of those people to make sure that we don't have a situation where we've got annoyances that are going on at all hours of the night right next door to somebody," said Gould.

Gould says areas such as Maple Ridge and Meadowbrook have already raised this concern.

Kelly Super of The Beach House in Mandeville said he likely wouldn't have been able to open his business eight years ago if he needed to get approval from 50 percent of nearby residents before he could prove his establishment would be respectful.

"There's already ordinances, noise ordinances, that are set up to police those sort of things to begin with. So, it seems to me it would be a hindrance on somebody opening a business, making a living and creating jobs," said Super. "A better option is to let people open up, and then if there's a problem, deal with the problem then because you're prejudging a problem that may not exist."

Parish residents and business owners will have an opportunity to debate the issue at a public hearing scheduled for May.

For more information about the proposed ordinance, click here.

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