The Libertine Bar: photo taken from The Libertine Bar’s website.

The Libertine, a bar on Greenville Avenue, is requesting an auto renewal of its zoning to continue its late-hours service.

The business, located at 2101 Greenville Ave., is zoned SUP 1881, a specific use permit that allows it to stay open past midnight.

In 2015, Libertine received approval to renew the SUP without any hesitation from neighbors. No one spoke against the renewal at the City Plan Commission meeting.

Patricia Carr, the then-president of the Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association, told The Advocate neighbors view Libertine as the “poster child of the perfect business” on Lowest Greenville.

Regulation of businesses along this road has been a hot topic in our neighborhood over the past few decades. Carr, who moved to Lower Greenville in the 1970s, told us she remembers around the early 2000s, bars and clubs began to dominate the street from Belmont to Ross because they could generate more money than daytime retail shops.

Some “bad operators” flocked to the area, serving drinks to underage neighbors.

Years went by, and the City began spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to increase the police presence in the area, to try to maintain safety. Another approach was to try to prove some of the businesses were really bars, not restaurants, and require them to get an additional permit. But that wasn’t effective, since relatives of the owners who had to shut down their businesses would quickly open the business back up.

Eventually, in 2011, the Lower Greenville Planned Development District was approved. The City allocated $1.3 million to make improvements to Greenville Avenue and its sidewalks. Four lanes were narrowed to two, and street parking was changed to parallel spots, rather than head-in.