Southlake renews teen curfew for 3 years

SOUTHLAKE -- The City Council renewed Southlake's curfew for minors for three years Tuesday night.

Since the curfew was imposed in March 2008, 40 citations have been issued, and vandalism and fighting have declined, police say.

The renewal was approved unanimously with no changes as part of the council's consent agenda.

The curfew for those 16 and younger is 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday. The maximum fine is $500 per offense. Exceptions include teenagers who can show that they are headed home from work or from a church or school activity.

Complaints from business owners and shoppers in Southlake Town Square led to the curfew.

Most of the citations were issued in or near Town Square, Police Chief Robert Finn said.

"The effect has been very positive," he said.

Comparing 2010 with 2007, citywide criminal mischief complaints have decreased 38 percent, disturbances are down 57 percent, and fighting is down 32 percent, according to a report prepared for the council.

In the same period, disorderly conduct citations increased 28.8 percent. Finn attributed that to more off-duty police officers working security in Town Square.

The officers have the authority to make arrests, unlike private security guards who used to patrol the popular outdoor mall.

State law requires the curfew ordinance to be reviewed and renewed every three years.

In other business, the council adopted new field-use agreements for the city's four youth sports associations that increase fees for nonresidents and select softball players.

Nonresidents will pay a $17 maintenance fee per season, a $5 increase.

The fee hikes affect the Southlake Baseball Association, Grapevine Southlake Soccer Association, Southlake Girls Softball Association and Southlake Carroll Lacrosse Association.

Residents, including soccer association athletes from Grapevine, will continue to pay $12 per player, per season.

Select teams, with the exception of softball, will have the same fee structure as recreational teams.

Select softball teams have a longer, 10-month season, so the council doubled the fee for residents to $24 and increased the nonresident fee to $34.

The higher fees are to offset the city's maintenance costs.

Nicholas Sakelaris, 817-714-7183