Alcohol Ordinance Changes

September 2018

 

We recently voted on multiple changes to our local alcohol ordinances, which I fully supported. Many of these changes removed restrictions on our ability to allow vendors to legally serve alcohol at public "Special events" in Doraville. This includes both events hosted by the city and events hosted by other people.

 

The key phrase in this is: "our ability to allow". This ability isn't given by right and is only allowed via a special use alcohol permit with strict qualifications. This doesn't mean "Joe Shmoe" can simply go sign up and hold a keg party in a city park. This doesn't mean we voted to allow open container all over the city 24/7. Someone pointed out that vendors have served alcohol at previous events in our city; I'm sure this was done without the city's knowledge or approval, as previous to these changes it would not have been legal for someone to do this.

What this does mean: if a responsible party that holds either a state or city license to pour at special events, can now apply for a permit to serve alcohol at an event that -also- has applied for a special events permit. The open container and serving rights are only within a bounded pre-defined area of this event. We also voted to allow "Assembly Yards" area of the GM redevelopment area to be an open container entertainment district. This was requested by the developers and we agreed that this made sense given the use planned for that area of our city.

All of our neighboring cities have allowed these types of uses and in talking with them, they have had no problems resulting from this. Our own police department also had no concerns about us doing this. Many people enjoy the ability to consume "adult beverages" at special events and not allowing this deters events and festivals from our city. I hope this encourages many new festivals and events that our citizens can meet each other and share fun experiences together.

Another recent zoning change I also fully supported, after a few adjustments, was to allow Brewpubs, Micro-breweries, Micro-wineries and Micro-distilleries by right in certain zoning areas of the city. Brewpubs are being allowed by right in most of the commercial districts with few restrictions. The adjustments I insisted on the others entailed: a reasonable buffer from any residential, a reasonable restriction to their production and special restrictions for their allowed by right use in the "Assembly Yards" zoning district.

Previous to these changes they weren't allowed to be in the city and when these businesses have come before the city council in the past, they were denied, sending the message that Doraville doesn't want them here. We felt that was the wrong message to send to these viable businesses, which operate throughout the metro Atlanta area without problem, and in fact attract people to come to the cities who do have them. We believe allowing these by right will attract new businesses and people to our city.

Stephe Koontz

City Council Member, District 3

678-373-7021 City Cell

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