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City Council endorses permits for dry clubs

December 19, 2000

City Council endorses permits for dry clubs



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


A law requiring commercial, non-alcoholic entertainment clubs in Hagerstown to get a $500 license annually was unanimously endorsed Tuesday by the City Council.

A final vote on the licensing law is expected Jan. 30.

Entertainment clubs and businesses exempt from the proposed law include theaters, restaurants, clubs sponsored or operated by a government, educational institution, or religious, charitable, benevolent, fraternal or social organization. Also exempt would be any business with a liquor license because that business already has government oversight.

City Police Chief Arthur Smith asked for the law because there is no oversight for music or dance clubs that do not have liquor licenses, but permit patrons to bring their own alcoholic beverages.

Smith said the issue came to his attention earlier this year when a "rave" club opened for a few weeks on North Potomac Street across from City Hall.

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He said he knows of no existing businesses that would be affected by the proposed licensing.

Those applying for a license would have to show proof of insurance, and a written statement outlining security measures. The applicant would also have to state whether the club will be an over 21 or under 21 club, both of which have age restrictions on who can patronize those clubs, under the proposed law.

Violators of the proposed licensing law could be fined up to $1,000.

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