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Hall may update event permitting

POSTED: March 29, 2009 11:12 p.m.

As warmer weather begins to move in and groups want to hold more events, Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell hopes the county can update its outdoor event permitting.

Currently, there is no license that allows caterers to serve alcohol off their premises.

“Right now both of our ordinances that deal with alcoholic beverages only allow the sale of alcoholic beverages on the licensed premises,” said Hall County Business License Director Susan Rector. “Now what we’re proposing to do is add a new category to the type of license they can apply for.”

If the Hall County Board of Commissioners approves the new license, restaurants will first need to obtain a catering license and then seek the alcoholic beverage license to serve at a particular event.

Bell thinks the county is losing potential tourism and special events by not offering alcohol permits.

“A lot of vendors that come to Hall County want to be able to serve alcohol on the premises at their events,” Bell said. “That’s something we have not been able to provide.”

One venue in the county is especially interested in is the Clarks Bridge rowing venue.

“Since the Olympics, Clarks Bridge has had a lot of national events,” Bell said.

The new ordinance would not provide any new liquor licenses, but rather allow businesses that already have them to sell alcohol at events outside their permanent location.

Special events permits are currently issued in the county, Rector said. Those locations could take advantage of applying to have alcoholic beverages at their events.

“We already have a special events designation on the books and we’ve got several locations that are approved for special events.

Road Atlanta is one in particular; Lanier National Raceway is another. Holiday Marina has one,” Rector said.

The county is looking to address the licensing changes in April.

“We just don’t have the licensing capabilities, permits and structures, set up to handle the actual requests that we get and take advantage of some of the tourism opportunities and recreational opportunities that we have,” Bell said.


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