Nuisance Business Bill

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Closing down nuisance bars and take out shops has been a problem.  This may make it easier.

Councilwoman Cindy Bass will be joined today at 4:00PM by Mayor Jim Kenney, Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Philadelphia Licenses & Inspections Commissioner David Perri, and Captain Sekou Kinebrew of the 14th Police District to sign the Nuisance Business bill, which will help to reduce chronic nuisance behaviors and support neighborhoods and commercial districts. The signing ceremony will be held at 5708 Germantown Avenue, the site of a nuisance business that was recently shut down.  

“This law is critically important for improving the quality of life in our communities and the health, safety and welfare of our residents,” Bass stated. “If businesses are proactive in deterring nuisance behavior, I am confident that neighborhoods will improve and thrive.”

The law defines nuisance behaviors as including illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or drug activity, unlawful street or sidewalk obstruction, gambling, loitering, public urination, prostitution, littering, and parking vehicles on sidewalks.  Business owners would be held responsible for nuisances on their premises and on the sidewalk or street abutting the business.

A business found to have received 3 or more violations within sixty days or 7 within twelve months can be classified as a “chronic nuisance business” and required to work with the Philadelphia Police and Department of Licenses & Inspections to adopt an “abatement plan” for curtailing the nuisance behaviors.

Failure to agree to an abatement plan may trigger penalties including the issuance of a Cease Operations order shutting down the business.  Community organizations and near neighbors would have the opportunity to participate in the process through written communication with L&I during their deliberations.

We know that it is often the case that business owners are victims themselves of this neighborhood nuisance crime,” said Mayor Kenney. “But in those instances where business owners are being negligent, we want to ensure the City has the appropriate tools to help the surrounding community.”

Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District, which includes Germantown, Mt. Airy, Nicetown, Tioga, Chestnut Hill, portions of Logan, and West Oak Lane. She is Chair of Council’s committees on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Public Health and Human Services.