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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, September 27, 2021

City Council enacts ban on bar expansion

KATIE LIN / AGGIE
KATIE LIN / AGGIE

45-day moratorium passed after recent stabbing in Downtown Davis.

On Sept. 29,  Davis City Council members called an emergency meeting to vote on a 45-day moratorium that would make it impossible for bars to expand or for new bars to open during that time. This ban passed in a four to one vote among councilmembers and took place after the recent stabbing at KetMoRee bar on Sept. 19. During these 45 days, the council plans to reach out to other cities and meet with local bars, the police and the city manager to find the best way to make bars in Davis safe.

“Based upon what happened, we are taking a look at, hey, are we doing the most we can to make sure that we have a fun, safe, friendly place for people to go and have a good time?” City Councilmember Brett Lee said.

Davis Mayor Dan Wolk explains that the moratorium will give the city time to talk with businesses and the community to consider what can be done to make Davis safer.

“I think the key to understanding the 45-day moratorium is that it’s really just about taking a break. It’s my expectation that after that 45 days, the council will have something we can sink our teeth into and look past ultimately,” Wolk said.

However, Councilmember Rob Davis disagrees with his colleagues, stating that the moratorium was unnecessary.

“I am not opposed to the intent, I am just not sure this is the way do it. The moratorium doesn’t change anything in terms of the current bar situation, meaning all the establishments that are open now are going to remain open. There aren’t going to be any changes in those 45 days,” Davis said.

Even though the moratorium is set to only last 45 days, councilmembers explain that it could be extended. This could be a problem for Blondies Bar and Grill, which is trying to open a new establishment on 330 G St.

Blondies was already in the process of getting permits to open when the moratorium was passed. Blondies will have to attend a hearing and comply with the new rules, which may include decreasing hours, adding heavier security and fiddling with occupancy. According to Lee, this is for the better.

“If we decide to enact some new guidelines for the bars that are operating in Downtown Davis, it could take up to a year to implement those changes,” Lee said. “For a new entity that hasn’t been opened yet or permitted to open, these new regulations would have to [be followed] on day one.”

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