New Teen Club Restrictions

March 21, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson

Are they a "right of passage" or a public nuisance?  However you feel about teen dance clubs, one thing is certain, opening one of these popular teenage "hang - outs" just got a little more difficult in the Lake Area.

Lake Charles Chief of Police Don Dixon said, "It's just been a huge problem for us."   Dixon was talking about the problems that he says have surrounded area teen night clubs over the past few years.   The problem was so out of hand, Wednesday night the Lake Charles City Council voted to adopt more stringent guidelines for issuing licenses for the controversial clubs.

Teen club owners will now be required to get a special permit, set parameters for hours of operation, security and fire codes.  Club owners will also have to have criminal back ground checks that show no felonies.  In addition, at least 65% of the neighbors within 500 feet surrounding the club will have to give permission before the city will issue a licence.

Dixon said, "Lake Charles has taken a huge step toward setting up the guidelines to run a proper teen club."  The new rules are tough, but are aimed at helping protect teens, teen club owners and the public at large.   Although Wednesday's City Council meeting was public, no local teen club owners or those planning to open one of the establishments spoke out about the new city wide restrictions.