Atlanta to revoke alcohol licenses for businesses that repeatedly attract crime

Atlanta City Council passed legislation Monday that allows the city to suspend or revoke a business’ alcohol license for violations of the city’s new “violent conduct nuisance.”

The city’s new ordinance defines a “violent conduct nuisance” as multiple incidents of assault, homicide or any other criminal activity located in a home, business, or parking lot in Atlanta. The ordinance allows the city to declare certain properties a public nuisance if those locations contribute to acts of crime or violent conduct.

The ordinance was introduced on behalf of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who views it as a tool to hold property owners and managers accountable for conditions contributing to violent crime and conduct.

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“Strengthening the City’s laws on nuisance properties gives us the ability to address businesses involved in continued violent crime incidents,” Bottoms said in a statement.

The city plans to give property owners a notice of documented reports of violent conduct or crime occurring on their property. The municipal court may order the owner, the owner’s managing agent or the party responsible for the property to enact security measures to reduce criminal activity.

The municipal court may also order the owner to evict the tenants who are contributing to the criminal activity, according to the ordinance. If the owner does not address the issue, the court may charge the owner fees for the city to resolve the issue.

The council also passed an ordinance to require all businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages to post the business’ license in a public place on the premises.

City Councilmember Amir Farokhi, who sponsored the ordinance, said in a statement that the bill allows the city to shut down businesses that aren’t operating peacefully.

“A vibrant nightlife is a feature of any great city, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of our safety,” Farokhi said in a statement.

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