DANBURY -- Mayor Mark Boughton said he hopes to have arrangements for entertainment licenses, which would allow nightclubs to open in CityCenter, in place by the start of September.
Boughton discussed the proposal during a meeting of the Main Street Partnership, a group formed in January to help spearhead revitalization efforts downtown.
City regulations don't allow nightclubs or other entertainment venues to open in the city's special services district, which encompasses much of the downtown.
The prohibition against nightclubs has been a bone of contention between city officials and investors who want to open clubs downtown.
Boughton said the license procedures would allow responsible business owners to open clubs, while giving officials the opportunity to shut down establishments that don't comply with the regulations.
Dan Casagrande, an attorney working with the city on the licensing ordinance, said the draft regulations calls for a three-year renewable license that would be required of both new or existing businesses that want to provide amplified music or other forms of entertainment.
License holders would be required to meet a variety of conditions, Casagrande said, including prohibitions on unreasonable noise, 18-and-over or teen parties would be restricted in establishments that offer alcohol, and licensees would be required to provide security in front of their establishments.
The security, Boughton said, would help the city to reduce the more than $200,000 in police overtime costs because of disturbances in the entertainment district.
The panel discussed whether the license should be broadened to the entire city, for fear that businesses would look at opening in areas other than CityCenter.
Boughton said he believes the license would be viewed as easing restrictions in the district, because nightclubs currently aren't allowed.
After further discussion, he said expanding licensing to the zone encompassing the Downtown Revitalization Zone, which is larger than CityCenter, could be a fair compromise.
Boughton said he hopes to have the proposal before the City Council at its July meeting, so that a public hearing can be held in August and the license can be implemented by September.