St. John requiring permit for live entertainment

Published 12:14 am Saturday, August 12, 2017

LAPLACE — Live entertainment is getting a little more expensive in St. John the Baptist Parish.

St. John Council members unanimously approved an ordinance calling for yearly or per-event permits — depending on the circumstances — to accompany live music and entertainment.

A temporary or renewable entertainment permit is required prior to an establishment or event featuring theatrical productions, athletic contests, concerts, recitals, circuses, karaoke, musical performances, dancing, fashion shows, comedy or DJs.

Exempt activities include periodic entertainment by schools and churches, live entertainment at weddings and similar religious events, family gatherings and private, non-commercial entertainment of guests within the confines of a residential site.

St. John Planning and Zoning Director Alexandra Carter said bars that regularly host live entertainment are now required, once a year, to secure a permit with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The venue or property owner would provide general information and submit to a background check. First-time yearly fees are $100, with renewals at $50 thereafter.

“We don’t want these things popping up out of nowhere and having negative impacts on neighboring businesses and other residents,” Carter said.

Residents or business interests who want to host temporary events, possibly in parking lots, will need a temporary permit going forward, and also meet with the Sheriff’s Office, to submit to a background check and discuss possible noise, vehicle and trash impacts. A temporary fee permit costs $50.

Sheriff Mike Tregre, speaking before the Council’s unanimous approval of the ordinance, expressed his full support of the new regulations, saying he worked with Parish Administration to help craft regulations that his department needed to operate.

Councilman Michael Wright said there was a lot of misinformation about the ordinance, adding his was glad Tuesday’s meeting provided a chance to air out community concerns in a public venue.

“At first I was hesitant about (regulating) the live entertainment for regular bar establishments,” Wright said. “On the other side of it, I do think it is a good thing because it makes us aware. It allows more control. Great job to all.”

The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office is handling enforcement of the new ordinance, with Parish administrators saying the Sheriff’s Office is planning an incremental breakout of the new regulation.