ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando City Council approved measures for the downtown area Monday to implement an after-midnight alcohol sales permit and ban new nightclubs in the area for at least six months.

The ordinances passed in a five to two majority vote, and will go into place May 1.

If needed, the nightclub moratorium could be extended for another six months, Mayor Buddy Dyer said during Monday's meeting.

What You Need To Know

  • The Orlando City Council approved a six month moratorium on new nightclubs in the downtown area Monday

  • The Council also approved the implementation of an after-midnight alcohol sales permit

  • The moratorium will prevent any new nightclubs from opening downtown for the next six months, with the option to extend it another six months if needed

  • While many who live and work in downtown say safety is top of mind, they say they are also concerned the proposed changes would increase the operating costs for bars

Proponents say the moves will help stop violence in downtown after a shooting in July left multiple people injured.

The added measures apply to the area of downtown referred to as “The Community Redevelopment Agency.” A map of this area can be found here.

Now that the ordinance has been passed, businesses that serve alcohol after midnight will need to apply for a permit under the "After Midnight Sales" measure at a cost of $250. The ordinance will take effect on May 1.

Businesses with the permit will need to comply with additional safety measures, including having ID scanners from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Some businesses will be required to have metal detectors and added security or law enforcement outside the building.

If a business has an occupancy of 125 or more, they will be required to hir one to two police officers while they are open on the weekend.

Depending on the severity and number of violations, a bar owner could lose his or her permit for up to a year for noncompliance.

Some people feel the measures will hurt businesses.

“We are also really worried about the police department being able to revoke or suspend our new after-midnight permit for things that our guests do in the building that we aren’t really in any control over,” said Monica McCown, vice president of the Orlando Hospitality Alliance.

McCown says she is also concerned that the measure could raise operating costs for bars, which might end up making a night out more expensive for people.

“I think that this will be damaging to the downtown entertainment area on an economic level, but safety is really important,” she said. “So if we’ll have to, we are going to have to make sacrifices to ensure safety right now.”

Business owner, Scott Kotroba, who owns six bars and restaurants in the downtown area, says it will cost him $120,000 a year to get up to code.

"We must change our dynamics a bit. Our security costs are going to have to get fluctuated," said Kotroba. "We are going to have to re-budget what we're trying to accomplish."

Kotroba is also not happy that bars with more patrons will have to pay more for police protection.

"I think all venues should pay," he said. I think anyone that is bringing people downtown, should pay for extra law enforcement that is coming downtown."

According to a recent survey, safety is top of mind for those who live and work in downtown Orlando, which a lack of safety could also affect businesses downtown.