Orlando looks to crack down on crime after problems downtown

Orlando’s planning board addressed solutions to spike in violence, security issues downtown

Orlando’s planning board approved a set of proposals designed to deter crime and other problems downtown.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando’s planning board approved a set of proposals on Tuesday designed to deter crime and other problems downtown.

During a Tuesday meeting, board members heard a presentation on three amendments aimed at businesses that operate late at night in downtown Orlando.

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The proposal came after several shooting incidents in the city’s downtown entertainment area over the last year, the most recent of which resulted in the arrest of a man and two teens early Monday.

“We’re going from a more reactive code enforcement scheme to a more proactive way,” Orlando Project Manager Jason Burton said.

One of the amendments would require new owners to apply for a special use permit and show a safety plan if they want their business to serve alcohol after midnight.

Another proposal applies to parking lots, where city leaders said a lot of crime originates.

Owners of parking lots may be required to implement a security plan and block off lots when closed.

“What we’re experiencing is someone will take money and fill up their lot and at midnight they’re gone,” Burton said. “They’re leaving the city or the police department with the problems associated with that particular lot until three or four in the morning.”

The issue of noise was also addressed. Planners have called for the city to raise the limit from 75 to 85 dB, which they said would encourage businesses to operate within that range.

“It sounds a little counterintuitive to increase the level, but in actuality, it will bring everybody to an even playing field level,” Burton said.

With the planning board’s unanimous approval, the amendments are set to be voted on by the city council in June.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.