West Palm takes preliminary vote to make curfew permanent downtown


Highlights

With curfew pilot program expiring, city moves to make it permanent

West Palm Beach commissioners moved Monday to make permanent the city’s tightened downtown curfew for anyone under 18, to keep a lid on crime in the commercial district.

If Monday’s initial vote gets final approval March 27, anyone under 18 will be persona non grata downtown from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent or going to or from work.

The curfew applies to the area from Okeechobee to Banyan Boulevard and from Flagler Drive to Tamarind Avenue. It includes Clematis Street and CityPlace.

The city commission voted unanimously in October to drop the regular curfew to 10 p.m. seven days a week rather than 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, as a pilot program for three months.

Police statistics showed a 79 percent drop in crime during those three months, compared to the same period a year earlier, Assistant Police Chief Tony Spatara told the commission Monday.

Raphael Clemente, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said his board approves the measure, as it had previous moves to extend downtown curfews.

The city hadn’t had problems with teens but the change would benefit everyone, City Administrator Jeff Green said previously.

The measure passed unanimously, without discussion.

Mayor Jeri Muoio has tinkered with the curfew in the past, including a recent Moonfest executive order banning anyone under 18 years of age from downtown from 9 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday.

The city also had a 10 p.m. curfew for CityPlace and the rest of downtown for Labor Day weekend. That decision came in the wake of reports of gunshots at CityPlace and on Clematis Street that created chaos.

Green said the city has been trying to strike a balance between the needs of downtown bar and restaurant owners and residents and decided to try a consistent curfew rather than different hours on different nights.

“We have a lot of teenagers downtown on weekends,” he said. “We’re trying to balance out everybody’s ability to enjoy the downtown.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Little progress year after Jupiter bought lot to ease traffic woes
Little progress year after Jupiter bought lot to ease traffic woes

It’s been a year since the Town of Jupiter bought a 2-acre lot next to Jupiter High School with the goal of improving safety for motorists. But since the $2.8 million purchase on April 4, 2017, little progress has been made. “We have cleared the land,” said Mayor Todd Wodraska about the vacant property, which had become a dumping...
Palm Beach Gardens voters to get 3 ballot questions in August
Palm Beach Gardens voters to get 3 ballot questions in August

Palm Beach Gardens voters may have a sense of deja vu come August when they see similar questions on their ballots to those that appeared in March. Palm Beach Gardens is revisiting proposed changes to term limits and the city charter, after a judge tossed questions from the March ballot. The judge determined the questions were misleading after the...
Trump in Palm Beach: First lady but not president will attend Barbara Bush funeral
Trump in Palm Beach: First lady but not president will attend Barbara Bush funeral

The White House announced today that Donald Trump would not attend former first lady Barbara Bush's memorial service Saturday "to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service." The president is expected to stay at Mar-a-Lago while first lady Melania Trump flies to Houston...
Pilots find small monkey at shopping center in Hallandale Beach 
Pilots find small monkey at shopping center in Hallandale Beach 

A monkey was seen by a group of pilots getting coffee today at the Diplomat Shopping Center in Hallandale Beach. Several monkeys have been spotted in South Florida recently, WPLG reports. Monkeys were also seen in North Miami Beach and Cooper City. The Aventura Police Department received calls Tuesday about a similar monkey that may be in the area...
Shake up in PBC judicial races: McAuliffe switches seats; Tendrich out
Shake up in PBC judicial races: McAuliffe switches seats; Tendrich out

With more than a week to go before candidates officially begin qualifying for the August elections, there has already been some shake-ups in Palm Beach County’s judicial races. Former Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe has switched seats and will no longer run against Scott Kerner, the brother of County Commissioner David Kerner...
More Stories