McAllen- Mayor Jim Darling signed the recently passed amendments of the city's Entertainment District regulations, but also requested that they not be enforced until the city commission can reconsider the matter.
The commission passed the nine-page ordinance on May 23 to amend and update the downtown entertainment "overlay" district ordinance. There are two changes to the ordinance, one placing restrictions on access to the establishments by persons under 21 and the other related to "outdoor, amplified music."
Mayor Darling, after consulting with the city attorney and city manager, explained that he signed the ordinance to prevent the district from "sun setting" (or going out of existence) but felt the amendments may not have fully captured the intentions of the commission. He said the action is necessary to allow the city to make adjustments to more accurately reflect the intent of the commission while protecting the current permit holders' right to do business.
In an "Executive Signing Declaration" attached to the new ordinance (attached), Darling stated: "... without diminishing the full force and credit of the ordinance ... in my capacity as the presiding officer of the May 23 meeting, it is my opinion that the language of the ordinance does not accurately reflect the intentions and desires of the McAllen City Commission with respect to its intended application to the economic and cultural overlay district."
The declaration further states: "Therefore, I am exercising the authority I have as Mayor of the City of McAllen to instruct staff to place this item on the next agenda for the meeting of the McAllen City Commission for clarification and reconsideration. Furthermore, I am requesting staff to abstain from implementing or enforcing any changes under the ordinance until the city commission has the opportunity to provide further guidance."
McAllen City Manager Roel "Roy" Rodriguez, P.E. indicated that implementation of the changes will be "put on hold" until further direction from the city commission. According to Rodriguez, "we will continue operate and regulate the Entertainment District as we have in the past, until the city commission can reconsider the matter."
The city commission's next regularly scheduled meeting is June 13, 2016.