Increasing incidents of violence in Scottsdale's entertainment district has prompted city leaders to craft a strict ordinance that say would promote safety and protect the city's image.
There have been two stabbings in the past six months at Scottsdale's Martini Ranch nightclub.
In January, bouncer Tyrese Thompson was stabbed five times in the parking lot of the club. He later died from his injuries.
Thompson's name was specifically mentioned in a letter sent to bars and clubs in Scottsdale notifying them of the new proposed ordinance.
"We have got to come to grips with the safety issue," said Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. "We value our reputation as a safe place to come and have fun."
The proposed ordinance, among other things, mandates bars and nightclubs have one security person for every 50 patrons. Those security officials would have to undergo training mandated by the city. The businesses would also be required to submit a public safety plan that would need approval from the city's police chief before they could continue operating.
"As a business owner, it would affect me in a negative way on a number of levels," said Nathan Martinez, co-owner of Social Tap, a bar and restaurant just down the road from Martini Ranch.
Martinez claims there have been zero incidents of violence at Social Tap in the year and a half it has been operating. He says security officials do their job effectively and worries of the area being unsafe are unfounded.
"For the most part, up and down this strip on Stetson, there's not much incidents," Martinez says.
Lane says this proposal would be among the toughest public safety ordinances in the country.
Martinez says he sees the city's perspective but disagrees with their tactics.
"They're only trying to protect the people, and they're trying to help. But I believe they're going about it the wrong way," says Martinez.
Two public meetings are scheduled in the next two weeks for the public to offer input on the proposed ordinance.
Lane says it could pass as early as August.
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