Posted by Elizabeth Stewart - email
JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - It's a battle between business owners and their neighbors.
For almost ten years, Abacoa's town center has been central location to grab a bite to eat and wash it down with a cold drink or two. But lately, complaints in the area have been on the rise.
And Tuesday night, Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow said his officers' work load is increasing too despite efforts to curb the problems. "It's not very easy to stand here before you and tell you that our community policing initiative is not working. But in fact that is the reality of what's happening here."
As a result, council members say they have to do something. Previous attempts to quiet down rowdy customers and keep the peace with neighbors haven't worked. Cutting back hours is one of the few options left. If calls are having to be made, they are not keeping that rule in order.
Still, several restaurant owners in residential and mixed use areas of the town say they are willing to find other solutions to claim the crowds they count on to keep their doors open. More private security, dress codes, and taxis on hand are just a few of the ideas.
A group of business owners met before Tuesday's meeting to find solutions. They hope to convince the council that their plans will work. Otherwise, they worry they no longer will.
They voted on the ordinance Tuesday night. It's just a first reading, meaning nothing will change right now. But it looks like they could impose a 2 AM across the board closing time throughout the town instead of different closing times on different nights.
The final vote is slated for August.