Parking at day, party at night
Junior Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford, is hoping that by next month car parks in downtown Kingston will be used as entertainment zones to accommodate much of the city's nightlife.
Entertainment zones are spaces dedicated exclusively to entertainment events at specific times and represent an attempt to address the need for venues that will not violate the Noise Abatement Act.
Downtown Kingston is already used for a number of open-air entertainment events, such as the annual Dennis Brown celebration and last year's CB Pan Chicken Championship finals.
"The assumption, and based on the test that we're doing, is that these areas will have limited impact on residential areas. There will be no need for a lock-off time. If you have these zones then there will be no need to have a lock-off time," Crawford said.
"The car parks' usage often ends by 8 p.m. Events don't start before 10 p.m. Therefore, there is nothing that prevents a car park from being used for an event. The car park invariably starts back use by 7 a.m. on a weekday. On a weekend there is no use for the car park," Crawford continued.
Last year, Crawford announced that discussions were under way with the Urban Development Corporation, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation to establish the Palisadoes strip and sections of downtown Kingston as the capital's first entertainment zones.
For the proposed Palisadoes party site, Crawford said he was awaiting response from NEPA.
"NEPA is supposed to send us a report and we haven't got that yet. The report is to tell me where exactly can be used and where exactly cannot be used," Crawford said.
Crawford explained that nine sites in downtown Kingston have already been identified, with one particular location intended to become operational once the permission has been granted.
It is expected that following events held at these car parks, promoters will be responsible for cleaning the areas. Arrangements can be made with the KSAC, Crawford said.