New Haven All-Night Businesses To Suffer

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New Haven All-Night Businesses To Suffer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A proposed ordinance here will limit 24-hour businesses in the city if passed, reported the New Haven Register.

The City Plan Commission already passed a measure that would prohibit any new 24-hour convenience stores and several other businesses from opening in residential zones. The businesses would have to get a special exception from the Board of Zoning Appeals to operate in business zones and downtown, according to the report.

The Board of Aldermen will review the new proposal Dec. 23. Several business owners said the ordinance proposal could ruin businesses, and deny necessary services to customers, including late-night availability of food, drink or medicines, and early-morning gasoline for commuters, the newspaper reported.

The ordinance would not affect businesses that already operate in the city, unless the businesses are sold or are forced to reopen under special circumstances.

The businesses targeted include pawn and swap shops, gun shops, transient lodging, adult entertainment, automotive and laundering services, and stores that sell food, drinks and pharmaceuticals. Applicants would have to prove a need to operate between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the report.

Gerry Katz, who owns Gerry's Shell Food Mart, told the Register he fought a similar ordinance several years ago, and will do it again. Katz said the ordinance could threaten his business, although it would be exempt since it would predate the law.

"It's 20 percent of my business," Katz said of late-night customers. "It's a lot of walk-in traffic. People are out of milk and bread. This last snowstorm, the number of people after 11 p.m. was unbelievable."

A similar ordinance was proposed in recent years, but the aldermen never voted on it, because the last one would have affected existing businesses, like Katz's. The ordinance eventually fizzled away after unsettled debate, according to the report.

Forty-two of the city's 89 shootings this year, about 47 percent, happened between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and at least seven occurred outside or near establishments that operate between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., the report stated.