Changes in Fresno city's nightlife

FRESNO, Calif.

Effective immediately, the club will no longer allow people under the age of 21 during late night hours.

For years, people under the age of 21 have always been able to enjoy a night out at the Starline nightclub in Fresno's Tower District. But, city officials recently discovered a flaw in this popular business practice.

They say the club's conditional use permit does not allow people under the age of 21 inside once live entertainment starts. Something Starline manager, Mike Lemieux says he and the owner were unaware of. "W e existed for 12 years on Livingstone's conditional use permit prior to us getting our own when we opened Starline grill we just continued doing things like they've always been done and nobody said anything different"

Starline was at the center of last months' /*Greyhound bus crash*/. Investigators discovered the 18-year-old driver of the SUV that rolled over was there earlier at a dance party.

Following the crash, complaints about how clubs throughout Fresno operate started pouring in to city officials ... forcing them to give out warnings to clubs who violate particular permit policies. Palomino's in the Tower District was one of the businesses on that list. Police Chief Jerry Dyer says this is all part of an ongoing effort to revamp Fresno's nightlife. "We will now monitor and ensure that in fact the conditions are being complied with. If they're not, then we'll take it to the enforcement level."

In the meantime, the city is working on a policy aimed at fining landlords thousands of dollars if their tenants break the rules ... something assistant city manager Bruce Rudd says could be very effective. "Well, if I own a building and now I have to pay four-thousand dollars because the folks that I let lease my restaurant to, I can evict them."

People in the club industry now fear all these changes could wind up hurting both them and their clientele.

"We were known as the 18 and over club and we have been since we began, so it's going to change who we are a little bit but I don't really think its gonna be financially devastating, some of the other people, it very well may be," said Lemieux.

The manager says a concert planned for money has already been cancelled because the band attracts people 18 and up.

As for the future of Starline ... they're hoping to make changes to their permit so they can once again allow people inside who are not 21.

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