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Zoning Commission considers bar permit for Artmosphere

Posted: 5:14 PM, Apr 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-16 18:14:50-04

The Lafayette Zoning Commission will consider a request tonight to issue a bar permit for Artmosphere. 

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Clifton Chenier Center on Willow Street. 

The request is to grant a conditional use permit that would allow Artmosphere to operate as a bar. For years, the establishment has struggled to meet requirements to prove it is a restaurant, because of the so-called downtown bar moratorium.

In January, the Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday removed the moratorium on downtown bars, replacing it with a conditional-use protocol aimed at opening up opportunities for new entrepreneurs while also affording elected officials control over the mix of establishments.

Business owners, real estate agents and city-parish officials say that, over time, the moratorium has resulted in the unintended consequences of stifling competition, inflating real estate prices and strangling downtown commerce.

The council voted unanimously to adopt the new system, which also imposes stricter controls over noise. The city-parish noise ordinance has been loosely enforced in recent years, but now bars will lose the right to operate after two major violations in a six-month period.