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Friday, September 16, 2016

City's Drinking Laws Could Be Rolled Back

Fairhope, Alabama



In central business district. (north is up)


'LAME DUCK' COUNCIL SESSIONS UNDERWAY


In the wake of last month's historic election, and before the next government takes over on November 7th,  the city council is considering establishing an Entertainment District covering most of the downtown central business district -- where open containers of alcoholic beverages (in shatterproof cups, no glass or bottles) could be purchased from licensed vendors and carried onto city streets anywhere in the district.

Currently, state law prohibits taking alcoholic beverages out on the street, even during events like the monthly Art Walk: state ABC Board officers issued some citations recently.
Councilman Boone, left

Areas in the CBD like the community park, splash pad, and Faulkner State College campus where children/minors may be present would be excluded; but a corridor extending down Fairhope Avenue to the 'Shux' restaurant on the pier should be considered as well, according to councilman Burrell.

The ED would be based on other ones in Alabama (Vestavia Hills, Opelika's) to "promote commercial development and pedestrian activity" in the downtown.

The City of Mobile has one in its downtown too.

Fairhope's  Downtown Business Association would serve as the "downtown development entity" required by state law before enacting such districts: Up to two ED's could be established in any single municipality.

Police Chief Petties said he had "mixed emotions" about establishing the new district itself; but paper cups (vs glass/bottles outside) were "a good idea."


DRINKING HOURS TO BE EXTENDED TOO?
Councilman Burrell, left

After hearing from two local bar owners, the council discussed extending sales of alcohol until 2AM, seven days a week in the new district: currently that is only allowed on weekends and the cutoff is 12AM the remaining days.

Police Chief Petties opposes this change because "nothing good ever happens late": he cited an unfortunate incident involving a meat clever several years ago as evidence.



CURRENT ORDINANCE:

Sec. 4-2. - Hours of sale regulated; penalty.
(a)
It shall be unlawful for any person holding a license issued by the state alcoholic beverage control board or a license issued by the city for the purpose of selling alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises and curtilage thereof, excluding private clubs, to exchange, barter, give or sell any alcoholic beverages to the general public during the following hours and days: Sunday through Wednesday from 12:00 a.m. (midnight) to 7:00 a.m.; and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 2:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.


GETS BUSINESS OWNERS' SUPPORT

 central business district map
Several restaurant and bar owners were present  to advocate for the changes (about seven will be directly affected) -- to accommodate their younger customers who may want to stay out later: they cited new security measures (id checks, guards, surveillance, etc) put in place to allay the police chief's concerns.

They want it to be effective year round, not just for special events like Art Walk, to accommodate visitors and tourists.

A map and draft ordinance for the new ED will have to be approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board before the council can vote to enact it; how long that may take was not mentioned.


(Mayor Kant and councilman Ford missed this meeting)



26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing good happens after midnight when it comes to alcohol. No way should alcohol
Consumption laws and hours be changed in Fairhope.

Anonymous said...

The pols promised to Keep Fairhope Fairhope before the election ... but all that was just B.S. No intenetion to.

Anonymous said...

it seems harmless enough. hotel guests would like it too.

Anonymous said...

Just what we need in a family friendly town. Take a cue from Mobile, late night drinking promotes violence, littering, drugs, DUIs, etc instead of fishing on the pier, dog walking and activities involving kids. Just see how many families come for special events when you have this atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

The new administration has nothing at all to do with this.

Anonymous said...

You are mistaken if you believe people are not already walking around downtown with open containers. This will allow the businesses to profit from what is already hapoening. And "the meat cleaver incident" was committed by a local employee of a bar. It was a dispute between employees that occured after closing the bar which happened over 10 years ago. It wasn't a tourist who got too crazy walking around town with their drink.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone has considered the problem of who gets the lawsuit when someone gets hurt or killed? I well remember a few years back when a man had been drinking all day and had an accident where a baby was killed and it ended up being a hugh lawsuit against the Fairhope Yacht Club, which they had to pay off, since it was the last place they could document that he had been served. Another thing to consider is what happens (even without the drinking) if someone falls or gets hurt going around the sidewalks that are being taken over by some merchants since others have done it; does the City get the suit or can that merchant who blocks the sidewalks be responsible. I would hope the City Council would not buckle just because it is a popular movement to promote nite life in Fairhope; and am very happy to see that our very popular Chief of Police seems to be trying to stop more drinking on the streets!

Anonymous said...

There is no way this will help the mom & pop businesses that made Fairhope what it is. It only helps restaurants, bar owners and the future mayors personal business.

Anonymous said...

This is already happening with people carrying around alcoholic drinks on street during Art Walk and other events (Mardi Gras,etc). Might as well make it "legal". I really don't see this proposed ED really changing the atmosphere dramatically in downtown area. I think it's a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Yes just for holidays and special events .... no for year round all the time......

Anonymous said...

Everybody is doing it now...just make it legal so mom and pop bars/restaurants can make some money off it. It doesn't change who Fairhope is...and that's why you cArry insurance and take classes on serving alcohol...comes with the territory. accidents can happen at 9p just as easy.

Anonymous said...

Seriously,

Why don't we just say this...do whatever you want and if you can't behave then you will go to jail!!! It really doesn't matter if it's after 7, 10, 12 or 2am. You can't fix stupid or make laws to protect or laws to make stupid people behave. Just love Fairhope

Anonymous said...

Absolutely NOT!!! I will fight this with all that is in me.

Anonymous said...

I'm against anything that creates the potential for more dawdling in the streets of Fairhope. There is no intensity when these folks are sober. This is a horrible idea.

Anonymous said...

I recommend no one vote on this issue unless it's been OK'd by Rock Creek!

Textide said...


Holidays, First Fridays and Alabama Game Days only....

Anonymous said...

I agree that, when we have a city event like First Friday, Arts & Crafts, etc, it should be imperative that visitors should be able to purchase drinks from our local bars and restaurants and walk around town with them. That said, I think that it is a huge mistake to just have an open 'Entertainment District" where everyone can carry drinks around town. Pretty soon, everyone will be filling their drink from the trunk of the car…..and how can that open district go all of the way to Shucks on the Pier? We will become a hangout for people who are too cheap to pay a bartender!
I am all in for events so that our local vendors make money but I am very against this as a 24/7 law!

What a disaster for Fairhope if we become the last place where loiters can hang out and drink on city streets!

And this is not an initiative of the new Mayor and Council……it appears that our former Mayor may have made some promises here just as he did when he said that the golf cart could operate on the pier. Thank God that we have a new mayor who does not yet think that she is God!

Anonymous said...

Thank God I no longer live in fairhope! And to all you smartas--- I did not let the door hit me in the ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Anonymous said...

There are already people who hang out in the parking lot in front of the Pier and at least one person who appears to live in his car there. If Jack Burrell wants to extend the 'Entertainment District' from downtown to the Pier, this entire parking lot area is apt to become a big hangout for people who would never patronize any of the downtown businesses. This 'corridor' of which he speaks is the worst idea I have ever heard of. It would be wonderful except that it will be so abused and Fairhope will be ruined. Can't it just cover special event nights and the areas in which the special events are taking place? That would make it a lot easier on the police and also would discourage anyone who is just looking for a gathering place to loiter.

Anonymous said...

What about the lady with the six foot long fingernails living at the library? Is she a drinker to?

Anonymous said...

PLEASE DO NOT DESTROY FAIRHOPE.......THERE ARE PEOPLE TRYING OUR COUNTRY.......LEAVE FAIRHOPE ALONE...WE SHAV SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE HERE....THEY DON'T NEED ALCOHOL IN FRONT OF THEM 7 DAYS A WEEK...SOME WORK IN SOME OF THE RESTURANTS...IT'S TOO TEMPTING...I WOULD NOT LIKE THE DRINKS AT ALL..

Anonymous said...

Aw shucks, throwing back a couple of pops before bed never hurt nobody.

Anonymous said...

By not allowing our bars to stay open later we send our youth to Daphne which allows bars to serve after midnight. So for all of our Mom and Pops we force our youth to drive further and put their lives and others in danger. Let's not forget the money the city of Daphne and the police force will make off of our Fairhope youth. We have many youth that already have little to do in a city that forces them to drink in their cars, homes, fields and wherever they can because we do not cater to children over 20. It is about time we do something for those that could be future leaders of this Mom and Pop town and not set them up for prison or even worse death by forcing them to drive and drink in our neighbor city. Get a grip people and embrace change while at the same time allowing restoration.

Anonymous said...

Considering most of Fairhope attend church to worship Sunday morning then rush to the American Legion or the Elks Club to get drunk, I'm sure most will approve this. This is unbelievable. I cannot believe anyone is even considering this. But, nothing in Fairhope surprises me. All Fairhope needs are even more drunks. Is the first Friday of the month not enough? Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

I am thinking about opening a strip club on the pier? any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

maybe encourage our youth to go home and go to bed about ten after the news and get ready for school/work the next day instead of boozing all night and showing up hung over to work for us the next day. and isnt first friday billed as a family event. oh yeah we always had alcohol at MY family events with small children. no and no, we do not need ex[anded hours for alcohol sales (If anything we need to roll them back, 2200 during the week and 0000 on weekends) and no walking around drinking. you would be surprised to see who just is blasted out of their minds in downtown some fridays.