This is wild. Courtesty of the homie Shaka Pitts:

THIS HAPPENED LAST THUR.. WE WILL BE TALKING ON RADIO ABOUT THIS TUES NITE.. WITH INVITED POLITICIANS.

9pm THE CLUB NETWORK RADIO PRESENTS
“REAL TALK WITH SPITTS MCMAN”
www. thespittersclub. net
.
PLEASE SEND ME YOUR POLITICAL MUSIC.. SPITTSMCMAN@YAHOO.COM
AND GET READY 4 WAR!!!!!

There is a proposal going in front of city hall this Thursday that could possibly have a HUGE NEGATIVE effect on the Music and Arts Community. The proposal calls for the removal of “Live Entertainment” zoning in the entire city, making any venue apply for an annual permit to house any live performance as defined in the proposal.

This legislation has the potential to hassle current clubs and bars and to completely undermine grassroots, DIY, and underground spaces and efforts. Please educate yourself and oppose this legislation. Below is the draft to be presented Thursday at City Hall along with a City Paper Article and Buzzboard posting on the topic.

Please spread the word to any and all musicians, performers, club owners, and anyone else who is involved in or appreciates local music!
The City Council will be giving a briefing on the bill next Thursday, Oct. 2, at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. for “Community Leaders and Members.” E-mail Andrew.smullian@baltimorecity.gov if you’re interested in attending.

From the City Paper:
“Because More Bureaucracy Never Fucked Anything Up: City Council Considers New Live Music Licensing Process

By Michael Byrne
As was announced earlier this summer, the City Council is planning major changes to how live music venues are regulated in Baltimore. It’s fairly simple on its face: Instead of being governed by zoning, live music establishments will be, if the legislation is passed, subject to a license process remarkably similar to the city’s liquor license process. City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told The Baltimore Sun at the time, “One of the ways that we can really be competitive is to create a city where people want to live. There’s an economic component to enhancing our arts, entertainment, and dining in the city,” framing the changes as a boon to Baltimore’s live music scene. In a sense, that’s theoretically true–this opens up areas, like industrial zones, to new venues, possibly easing the landscape for starting a venue. The new venue just has to go through the licensing process, which means being subject to neighborhood approval (“fewer than 10 objections from people who live within a 10-block radius”) and approval by a five-member license board that would evaluate applications based on things like proximity to churches/schools, lighting, safety plans, noise levels, and traffic, among a host of other things.

Unsurprisingly, many local venue owners are bummed. In an mass e-mail earlier today, Ottobar co-owner Craig Boarman explained, “This bill gives people who have just moved into neighborhoods the opportunity to close clubs that have existed for decades. This bill could seriously impact the livelihoods of specific bars and clubs, and as a result could affect other businesses in a trickle-down manner.” As drafted, the proposed changes don’t give any free passes to existing venues–everyone has to apply–so, yes, this could theoretically shut places down. One halfway motivated neighborhood association could do it pretty easily, in fact.

The City Council will be giving a briefing on the bill next Thursday, Oct. 2, at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. for “Community Leaders and Members.” E-mail Andrew.smullian@baltimorecity.gov if you’re interested in attending.

Email Michael Byrne

The actual proposal-
City Council President’s Live Entertainment Licensing Legislation

I. Removes from the zoning code live entertainment and dancing as a zoning category.

II. In order to have Live Entertainment at an establishment, a license must first be obtained.

a.

Live Entertainment means
i.

Musical Act, Concert or Recital
ii.

Theatrical Act, Play or Revue
iii.

Circus or Acrobatic Performance
iv.

Dance Performance
v.

Participatory Dancing
vi.

Magic Act
vii.

Karaoke
viii.

Disc Jokey
ix.

Poetry Recital or Book Reading
x.

Performance Art
xi.

Stand Up or other Comedy
xii.

Any other Similar Activity
b.

Live Entertainment does NOT include:
i.

Adult Entertainment
ii.

One Day Non-Recurring Events exempted by the Board
2. This ordinance would only pertain to Taverns, Restaurants and Dance Halls.

III.

The license will be obtained from the Board of Licenses for Live Entertainment
a.

The Board is Comprised of 5 Members:
i.

2 Members appointed by the Mayor (one must have substantial experience in the live entertainment industry, while the other cannot have any relation to the live entertainment industry
ii.

The President of the City Council or Designee
iii.

1 Councilmember appointed by the President of the City Council
iv.

The Director of Hospitality Services (This position is created later on in the Bill and will also serve as Chairman of the Board of Licenses for Live Entertainment)
IV.

Licensing
a. The Board will adopt Rules and Regulations that designate class of licenses that specify the types of entertainment that may be performed under the license, the days and hours of operation, the term of the license and any other limitations.

i.

In deciding the limitations of the license the Board must consider:
1.

Noise Levels and need for Noise Proofing
2.

Size of the establishment or configuration of the entertainment venue within the establishment
3.

Number of live entertainers
4.

Exterior lighting
5.

Whether to limit the Live Entertainment to Dancing Only
6. The proximity of residences, schools, churches or parks to venue.

7.

Occupancy limit of the venue
8.

Volume of Pedestrian Traffic near the proposed venue
9.

The establishment and maintenance of:
a.

Traffic Plan
b.

Park Plan
c.

Indoor and Outdoor Security Plan
d.

Sanitation Plan
b.

Qualifications of the Applicant
i.

Must be at least 21 and of good moral character
ii.

Criminal History can be taken into account
iii.

Business History can be taken into account
iv. Must have other Zoning Authorization (but can obtain the license before hand and will not become effective until zoning issues are resolved).

• Posting and Objections
i.

The owner must post his application on the venue for 30 days
ii.

Notice must also be given on the Boards Website
iii. If there are fewer than 10 objections from people who live within a 10 block radius then the license must be issued.

iv. If there are 10 or more objections the community and the owner are referred by the Director of Hospitality Services to mediation w/in 21 days of the application (or longer if the applicant agrees) to try to work out some of the issues.

v. If the Mediation is unsuccessful as to any issue, the matter must be held for hearing and decided by the Board as to whether to issue the license or any limitations that may be out on that license.

• Terms and Renewal of License
i. Term is good for one year from the time of granting of the license.

ii. To renew the license you must apply no less than 30 days and no more than 60 days before expiration.

iii.

Renewal must be posted on Boards Website
iv. The Community can object to the renewal in the same way as in the initial granting of the license.

v.

If renewal is denied applicant must wait 9 months for reapplication
vi. The License is non-transferable.

vii.

The Board can also suspend or revoke a license for:
1.

Failure to pay application fee
2.

Making a materially false statement on application
3.

Lack of Accessibility for Fire and Police Protection
4.

Failing to comply with any provisions of City Law
• The White Book
i.

All Licensees must keep of a copy of their “White Book” for inspection at any time which includes the following information
1.

Name and Contact Information for the Lincensee
2.

Parking, Traffic, Security and Sanitation Plans
3. Copy of all licenses issued by City, State or Federal Govt.

4. Any other Information the Director of Hospitality Services deems necessary by rule or reg.

V.

The Office of Hospitality Services
a.

Duties
i.

The Director serves as the Chairman of the Board of Licenses for Live Entertainment
ii. Serves as Community Liaison and principal contact or members of the public with issues involving the hospitality industry.

Also:
1.

Organize Roundtable meetings for the public and industry
2.

Seek to mediate disputes between the public and industry
3.

Conduct orientations for new businesses within the industry
2. Coordinates all City agencies that concern the industry (i.e. Police, Fire, Health, etc.

)
3. To the extent authorized by State Law regulate the closing hours of entities operating under Alcoholic Beverage Licenses (i.e.

Soft Closings)
4. Develop Rules and Regulations regarding the White Book.