Clarifying what is a Bar, Restaurant and Nightclub – Virtual Public Input – June 8th


Currently in the City of Sarasota, definitions and standards for bars and nightclubs are tied to State licensing and seating requirements. Additionally, outdoor bars are not defined in the City’s Zoning Code and are therefore only allowed as accessory to hotels/motels and private clubs.  This has resulted in establishments being classified as nightclubs that do not operate as such while other establishments are classified as restaurants despite operating like nightclubs late into the evening.

A future Zoning Text Amendment proposes to administer regulations for entertainment-oriented establishments (restaurants, bars, nightclubs) based on the intensity of the establishment, including elements such as live, amplified music and operating hours.

Topics for Discussion:
✓ Update the current definitions of bars and nightclubs to clarify the difference between these two uses.
✓ Create a definition for outdoor bars.
✓ Determine the permitting process and suitable zone districts for bars, outdoor bars, accessory outdoor
bars, and nightclubs based on the intensity of the use.
✓ Expand the standards for outdoor seating to include bars, outdoor bars, accessory outdoor bars, and
similar establishments.
✓ Modify the Downtown Exemption Area of the citywide separation requirement for bars and
nightclubs from schools, churches/synagogues/sanctuaries, or residentially zoned properties.

June 8, 2023, at 5:30pm Via Zoom

Questions: communityworkshops@sarasotafl.go

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