Mayor Riley meets with downtown restaurant owners

VIDEO: Mayor Riley meets with downtown restaurant owners on proposed ban

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Tuesday, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley met with restaurant owners and lawyers at City Hall.

The meeting was to discuss banning new late-night restaurants and bars in parts of downtown for the next three years as part of a moratorium.

Mayor Riley called Tuesday's meeting with restaurant owners productive.

"It was part of our listening process and for those who were there, part of their listening and informational gaining process as well," Riley said.

Riley said the point of the meeting was to give both restaurants and the city a chance to voice and share their opinions on the proposal.

"We've got to make sure we don't have such an overwhelmingly active late-night scene that it denigrates the quality of life in our residential areas," Riley said.

In the past, restaurant owners were upset about being left out of discussions for the late-night ordinance. Tuesday, they weren't ready to voice any opinions.

Riley says he's concerned about some streets being boring during the day and overcrowded at night. He says the ban will help the city create a long term plan.

"It gives us a time to thoughtfully with the citizens of our community and a variety of interests including the restaurant and bar industry to analyze where go in the future," Riley said.

Now the Planning and Zoning Commission will vote on the issue on August 20th and then that recommendation will be passed onto the city council on September 23rd.

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