Changes to downtown Lafayette nightlife halted

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Three efforts to alter Downtown Lafayette may have ended Tuesday night. Each was discussed at the Lafayette City Council meeting.

Expanded curfew for minors hours, alcohol open container prohibition hours, and parking meter fees were all part of the discussion, but many of the people who enjoy downtown felt left out of that discussion. That’s why they were all called off for now.

“I have proposed a multi-pronged approach that includes parking, loitering, and of course public safety,” Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s said introducing his plan to make Downtown Lafayette a safer and more prosperous place.

He suggested expanding the curfew for minors to 10 p.m. as well as the prohibition on open alcohol containers outside. He said they can lead to crowds, drinking in the streets, and violence.

“None of this makes our downtown safer or more prosperous,” Guillory noted.

Despite his reasoning, the Lafayette city council could not get behind his measures. They were not even discussed as they lacked the support to be introduced.

District 2 City Councilman Glenn Lazard represents the Downtown District. After the meeting, Lazard said, “I’ve had numerous discussions with Downtown stakeholders, property owners, and I can tell you that the vast majority of them are opposed to the implementation of any new regulations until we get a better handle on exactly what we’re dealing with.”

Lazard added it’s hard to gauge the problem until COVID ends and business returns to normal, so he’s hosting a series of meetings to address the unique downtown issues until then.

Guillory said he’s willing to wait on doubling parking meter fees and making them 24/7 until safety and loitering are addressed.

Downtown resident were pleased to hear the news. Landon LeBlanc told the council, “I do understand that the rates may be a little antiquated, but the 24-hour parking feels a little harsh, and maybe dialogue with the residents and some of the business owners Downtown might help to find a better solution, somewhere in the middle.”

The parking meter changes were actually scheduled to go into effect Tuesday but did not happen. The date was picked because the administration knew they would get feedback based on the city council’s meeting.

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