For the past six months, Montgomery County’s Nighttime Economy Task Force has been holding public meetings and discussions regarding nightlife in Montgomery County and how it can be improved. Residents gave their input on what they would like to see and experience to liven up nightlife and gain more County revenue from it. On October 28th, 2013, these recommendations were sent to the County Executive. The recommendations were categorized by department and improvements that involve each department.
Department of Economic Development:
-Develop a plan for marketing and attracting new companies
-Promote venues that pay musicians to perform
-Promote positive customer service
Department of Environmental Protection
-Establish Urban Noise Areas surrounding town centers to allow musicians to play for a larger audience
Department of Housing and Community Affairs
-More housing options
Department of Liquor Control
-Develop an educational Patron Responsibility Program.
-Extend hours alcohol sellers on Fridays and Saturdays to 3AM, and 2AM on Sunday-Thursday
-Modify the alcohol to food ratio under Class B licenses from 50/50 to 60/40
-Create a study with the Office of Legislative Oversight to improve the Department of Liquor Control’s services
Department of Permitting Services
-Make it easier to create an arts/entertainment venue or production
Department of Transportation
-Food trucks can operate after 10PM
-More taxis and parking
-Better late-night transit services
-Pedestrian and bicycle access
Office of Management and Budget
-Better public safety resources
-Allow public space to have multiple uses and attract people with design elements
-Incentives for allowing open space for arts groups or performers
-New zoning standards so public/open space requirements are easier to meet
-More density of people in popular nighttime areas
-Decrease crime by using Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) techniques.
-Decrease drunk driving by extending “Safe Ride” all weekend long
-Maintain public spaces
-Dedicated revenue to events
The task force was made up of residents and business leaders and was staffed by representatives from the Department of Liqour Control, the Mid-County Regional Services Center, the Department of Recreation and the Chief Innovation Officer. Now that the recommendations are finalized, the task force will disband and the focus will be on implementing the recommendations. For more information on the task force and more detail on the recommendations, click here.