Camden’s City Council has unanimously voted for a business curfew with the goal of stamping out crimes such as drug trafficking that occur near late-night takeout restaurants.
The next step for the ordinance is a review by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and then if approved and published, would take effect 20 days later.
Not so fast, though, says Frank Fulbrook, a community leader who has already pushed legal action against the city regarding business hour restrictions—and won. Fulbrook promises a lawsuit is on its way regarding the curfew as well.
“We’re definitely going to file a lawsuit to challenge this long before it takes effect,” Fulbrook said to Philly.com. “We need to get a temporary restraining order until the trial is held. There would be irreparable harm to the businesses that are forced to close.”
The new regulation would require “restaurants; stores, including gas-station mini-marts; and retail food establishments within 200 feet of a residential zone,” to close by midnight on Friday and Saturday and by 11 p.m. the rest of the week, according to Philly.com.
Fulbrook maintains that most businesses in Camden would suffer the consequences of such an ordinance as “[v]irtually every commercial district is adjacent to a residential zone” while drug dealers would simply find new ways to continue their activities.
Some Camden residents such as Wanda Garcia are all for the curfew, however, noting that the city at some point has to “close down” and that Camden is “not a city that never sleeps,” as quoted at Philly.com.
What do you think of such a business curfew?