Officials continue work on bar-zoning model plan


Area officials have resumed work on drafting the “Pattaya Model” plan to revise zoning, operating hours and tax systems for entertainment venues.

Assistant Justice Minister Peerapat Boonjareon attended the Jan. 18 Pattaya City Hall meeting to hear opening presentations from Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and Banglamung District Chief Mongkol Thammakittikhun.

Mayor Itthipol Khunplome chairs the meeting to discuss the ongoing zoning plan for the city.Mayor Itthipol Khunplome chairs the meeting to discuss the ongoing zoning plan for the city.

Spearheaded by the National Counter Corruption Commission – whose criticism of the Pattaya Police Department’s lax enforcement of national bar-closing times prompted a November bar crackdown – the new zoning plan is being eyed as a possible model for tourist-centric cities around the country. It would not only cover operating hours, but business zoning, tax collection, security, and advertising.

Itthiphol said the city has set up three committees to study bar closing times, zoning and licensing.

Pattaya Permanent Secretary Suthorn Ratanawaraha acknowledged that extending closing times was a key issue for many community groups, but said the city has more than 900 licensed entertainment venues and many more unlicensed ones and that finding a plan to cover all of them will take time.

At a December meeting, Itthiphol warned that there will be no change to bar closing times until at least 2012, as the Pattaya Model plan will take at least a year to complete.

The hope is that if the draft plan is successful, it can be used as a model for Phuket, Chiang Mai and other tourist cities.