PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – At the last Panama City Commission meeting, the proposed “Downtown Social District” was a hot topic of debate in a public hearing.
The district would allow patrons to carry alcoholic beverages through a designated area as long as the beverage is in a DIB-designated container.
After hearing input from both sides, the Downtown Improvement Board is hoping to get detractors on board.
“Where that compromise will fall, you know, I don’t really know yet, but we’re absolutely willing to compromise,” said DIB Vice Chair Jennifer Burg.
Public drunkenness, increased crime, and trash overflow are common concerns for those opposed to the change.
The DIB says that their plan does not intend to encourage irresponsible behavior.
“This is not meant to be Bourbon Street, New Orleans, you know, that kind of thing. That’s not what this is. And I understand that there’s the fear of that. And so I think that’s where this compromise is coming from. They just want to see it come down a little bit, which we’re absolutely willing to work with them on that,” said Burg.
Possible changes include shrinking the district perimeters.
Commissioners have also considered conducting a “test” run to see how the ordinance performs after a certain time period.
The commission plans to vote on the measure at their November 12th meeting.