Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Bar fight

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BATON ROUGE - A rezoning fight has one neighborhood going public with yard signs.

Right now, people like their quiet Southdowns neighborhood, and fear even one more bar will create a big problem.

"It's a question of balance," said Southside Civic Association member Peter Ricca. "We think that right now, we have a few bars along there and that's pretty much all we need."

Signs read: "Keep Southside family friendly, stop new bars."  They have started to pop up in yards off Perkins Road.

The old 'Parties Start Here' building is up for a rezoning request. The owner, Nelson Maddox, wants to change the zoning to C-AB-2, to allow a bar to open.

Maddox says more than a year ago, the former Time Out Lounge on Old Hammond Highway burned. The owners have been searching for a new venue and would like to bring their clientele to the Perkins area.

"I told them, you know, I can make this thing work," said Maddox. "I can't imagine anyone that would fight this."

Members of the civic association says they're not opposing new restaurants that serve alcohol, they're just opposing more bars. Some Southdowns neighbors fear more bars will bring more drunk drivers through their neighborhood late at night.

"More traffic, more drunk driving traffic in the area," said Rachel Dicharry.

The rezoning request goes before the zoning commission Monday, Aug. 18 at 5 p.m.


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