Waco city officials at odds with local business owners - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

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Waco city officials at odds with local business owners

Local business owners, Waco city council and Waco police met to discuss the city's controversial dance hall ordinance Thursday night.

City officials are proposing several changes to the current ordinance. Some of those changes include making club and event hall owners follow stricter rules for crowd control and requiring new permits.

The new zoning ordinance would require club owners whose business is within 100 feet of a designated residential area and operates between 2am and 7am to get a special zoning license. 

Waco City Attorney, Jennifer Richie said, "There's been some changes in the last 20 years regarding operations of night clubs and also how you regulate them. So we're just trying to modernize our ordinance."

She went on to say that the city's intent is not to shut down any businesses. All of the businesses that are already established would be grandfathered in and wouldn't have to apply for a new dance hall license. However, they would have to apply for a separate zoning permit if they fall under the new rules. 

At the meeting, local business owners were weary of the new changes. Event hall owners became defensive and thought the new changes were unfair and didn't like being grouped in the same category as night clubs.

None of the changes the city proposed have been finalized. They would have to be approved by the City Council then go through the Planning and Zoning Commission before they would be put into affect.

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