Mayor Sheila Dixon signs the live entertainment bill
Mayor Sheila Dixon signed the live entertainment bill into law today, making it easier for certain taverns and restaurants to have bands, karaoke, DJs and such.
Though neighborhood associations haven't been big fans of the bill, I think it's a step in the right direction for Baltimore. And I live in South Baltimore, which will be affected by the zoning changes ...
This bill opens up certain zoning districts for live entertainment. Two other measures passed by the city council are intended to make it easier for neighborhood residents to monitor and protest new live entertainment licenses. That way, if their local corner bar gets a live entertainment license and suddenly becomes a major nuisance, they can sort it out. Let's hope the measures work like they're supposed to.
In the past, I've written about the bill objectively as a reporter, and also supported the idea as a blogger. There are a few sides to it, too:
- Bars say live entertainment will make them more appealing and bring in more customers
- Bands and DJs say they need more places to play.
- Neighborhood associations don't want wild and crazy clubs setting up shop in formerly peaceful spots.
Thanks, Mayor Dixon, for signing the bill. And thanks to City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake for working so hard on it over the past few years. Rawlings-Blake didn't rush this bill through -- she hammered it out with input from business owners and community members alike. I think the finished product is the right move for Baltimore.