“In Bairro Alto, there is currently an unsustainable situation caused by the distortions of so-called Zero Licensing”, said citizen Domingues Alvim, referring that this law “establishes a presumption of legality in terms of the entertainment and catering establishments that it places in total disadvantage to the residents”.
This resident was speaking at a decentralised public meeting of the Lisbon City Council, for the hearing of residents of the parishes of Santa Maria Maior, Santo António, São Vicente, and Misericórdia, in which the concern with the Zero Licensing law was shared by other Lisbon residents, as well as problems with depositing and collecting rubbish, security, parking and pedestrian accessibility.
Domingues Alvim said that the entities do not supervise the establishments and referred that for more than a year, "unsuccessfully", he has been denouncing two situations that violate his rights as a resident, namely the opening of a restaurant in the building that works without conduct for the evacuation of smoke and gases and a nightlife establishment that presents itself to the authorities as a tea house, “but in reality it is dedicated to the exhibition of pornographic shows, proposes varied sexual practices and includes a sex shop”.
In response to the citizen, the councillor for Urbanism, Joana Almeida (independently elected by the "Novos Tempos" coalition - PSD/CDS-PP/MPT/PPM/Aliança), said that these two establishments "are in an illegal situation", indicating that the chamber has already carried out several inspections and the first step is to notify the owners to restore legality.
“The second step is to subpoena, if you do not comply, and the third step is to report to the Public Ministry”, said Joana Almeida, explaining that the chamber does not have the competence to close the establishments, who has that power is the Food Safety Authority and Economics (ASAE).
The Councillor for the Economy, Diogo Moura (CDS-PP), agreed that “Zero Licensing has brought a pernicious effect to what economic activities are in the city”, arguing that it is necessary to change the legal framework, for which it is available to present proposals to the Government.
“Without an amendment to this law, more and more bars will open, more and more of these establishments, and control by the Lisbon City Council, because this depends on mere prior communication, is very difficult”, highlighted Diogo Moura, indicating that in the parishes of the historic center of Lisbon, there are “spaces that open with eight or 10 square metres, have only one beer pump and sell to people on the street”, which brings noise problems and affects the right to rest of the citizens.
The councillor for Urbanism considered that these situations of illegality are “a totally regrettable reality” and difficult to respond to, because the council tries to notify, but the owner “does not show up, then changes his name, there are a series of strategies here that lead to these notifications for the restoration of legality end up slipping in time”.
The mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas (PSD), reinforced that it is the ASAE that is responsible for closing establishments, but supports the struggle of residents: “Have no doubt that I, as mayor, want to close these establishments and that I will do everything to close them, now I have to have instruments for that”.
“Zero Licensing, really, is a catastrophe for the city councils, for the parishes, so I, as mayor, can speak with the Government and say that it is not correct”, declared Carlos Moedas.
Who the f*** lives in Bairro Alto, expecting quiet?
By Dan from Alentejo on 09 Feb 2023, 17:28
Well Dan apparently you haven't walked the entire Barrio Alto like I did in a week at Christmastime. There are a huge amount of very nice old apartments where people have lived for 30 years and more and when they bought and rented it was a lot more quiet and more consideration for all residents. Many of the streets still get quiet by 11 P.M. but there is a bar or restaurant every 7 or 8 doorways and the new ones aren't very respectful. Should those residents move out because BA has become the party neighborhood? Do you really think that's fair? There should be a noise curfew, tickets written for fines twice before closures and the party bars are the ones that should move to downtown or a non residential area; mixed use neighborhoods have laws in the US or they close you by taking away your liquor license. Big clubs here are always in an industrial area so they can make all the noise they want; that works well. If you already have a bar or club in BA then keep people inside or monitor noise when they go on the street; it's a pain but that way everyone is respected, the business can operate and folks can "rest."
By Wes from USA on 10 Feb 2023, 06:24
That so called Tea House should be closed down immediately since it operates as a perverted sex hub in reality. And the residents shouldn't have to deal with all the noise pollution on their streets!
By Lisa from Other on 10 Feb 2023, 16:06
How hard is it to put a notice on the door of an illegal establishment stating if it is found open it will be subject to a huge fine. Portugal fines everyone for the slightest infraction of a red tape top heavy administration, so what difference would one more make?
By Ian from Beiras on 11 Feb 2023, 09:48
Here's a thought...Find out where the owners live...Take a big speaker with flashing lights...Set it up outside their home...Blast some good EDP music and dance around blowing a whistle like an idiot...repeat on a daily basis...
By Sakamoto Suarez from Lisbon on 11 Feb 2023, 09:53
What about all the mistreated dogs that bark 24 hours a day? Nothing is ever done about that
By AJones from Lisbon on 13 Feb 2023, 07:28