City issues new Downtown Entertainment Area regulation updates

An email was sent out to downtown business operators in the afternoon of Friday, October 14, sharing updates from City Hall pertaining to changes in regulatory policies for the Downtown Entertainment Area/Central Business District. Policies that we’ve been telling you were coming all through the summer.


The mayor’s office is trying to shift the landscape in Orlando’s downtown core away from the clubs and nightlife of the past few decades and towards a more family-friendly neighborhood-style district. One with more retail, more public parks, wider sidewalks, and hopefully, less crime.

To do that, they’ll be tightening the red tape to restrain “bad actors” and make downtown a less hospitable place for them to do business, sending them on their way downstream to the Main Streets. Some of the changes, as you’ll read below, include requiring businesses open past midnight to identify and register a “Responsible Person(s) with the Code Enforcement Division to remain on-site during all operations while a business is open as well as more formal Noise controls, and requiring businesses to clean around their building by 4 a.m. each morning before going home.

The following update was shared by a City Planning Division staff member.


On September 26, 2022, the Orlando City Council voted to approve Ordinance No. 2022-46 regarding the regulation of late-night uses, surface parking, and noise reduction within the Downtown Entertainment Area. The following are new requirements for businesses within the Downtown Entertainment Area, which may include your business/property:

All Late-Night Alcohol uses in the Downtown Entertainment Area:
Any business that sells alcohol after midnight within the Downtown Entertainment Area must identify and register a Responsible Person(s) with the Code Enforcement Division by November 1, 2022. The Responsible Person must remain on-site during all operations of the establishment until closing. A business may register its Responsible Person(s) with the Code Enforcement Division at www.orlando.gov/ResponsiblePerson.
Promoters are required to obtain a Business Tax Receipt or otherwise be an employee of the establishment. To get a business tax receipt, visit www.orlando.gov/BTR.
Trash and litter must be removed from the exterior of your property in the immediate public right-of-way prior to 4 a.m. each morning, immediately.
Any business that sells alcohol after midnight within the Downtown Entertainment Area must keep all permit documents on premises of the establishment and provide upon demand to any agent of the city. These documents must include alcohol licenses and a list of the Responsible Person(s) registered with the Code Enforcement Division.

NEW Late-Night Alcohol uses in the Downtown Entertainment Area:
• Any NEW businesses open to the public after midnight within the Downtown Entertainment Area are considered Late-Night Use and must obtain a Special Use Permit from the Planning Official. For more information, please visit www.orlando.gov/LateNightUses.
o A Special Use Permit is also required when there is a change in ownership for an existing Late-Night Use or a substantial improvement.
o Review considerations for a Special Use Permit include a description of the operations, appropriate alcohol licensing, security plan, identification of any outdoor speakers, and a site/floor plan that applies the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

Chapter 42 (Noise):
Noise readings for private property will be measured at or beyond the real property line.
• Indoor speakers located within 20 feet from an entrance or exit, or any window or similar opening in the building, shall be oriented toward the interior and pointed opposite and away from such openings.
• All new and existing outdoor speakers require a Planning Official determination approving their use within the Downtown Entertainment Area. A noise report is required by an independent acoustical engineer for existing and new outdoor speakers. To schedule an appointment to start the process, visit www.orlando.gov/LateNightUses.
• You must apply by November 1st for your Planning Official determination; otherwise, you must discontinue the use of your outdoor speakers. Any noise mitigation recommended by that report must be completed within 60 days. To receive a Planning Official determination, you must meet with staff for a pre-application meeting. To request a pre-application meeting to obtain your Planning Official determination, email [email protected].
Sidewalk Café speakers must be turned off after midnight, immediately. Furthermore, only small ambient-type speakers are allowed and require a Historic Preservation or Appearance Review. For more information, please visit www.orlando.gov/LateNightUses.

Thank you for helping to create a safe and equitable environment in our downtown. We understand that it has been a challenging few months for our downtown community and we are here to assist in any way we can. If you have questions, please contact [email protected].

For information regarding our grant opportunities, please visit www.downtownorlando.com/Business/Incentives.

Related Articles

Back to top button