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3 things to know prior to Gainesville City Council meeting on Tuesday
City of Gainesville Administrative Building1.jpg

Gainesville is adjusting its alcohol ordinance, a new fitness center and shopping area may be built on Dawsonville Highway, and improvements could be coming to the Knickerbocker Lake Dam, following approval from the Gainesville City Council Tuesday.


Changes to Gainesville’s alcohol ordinance

The council will vote Tuesday on whether to make some adjustments to the city’s alcohol ordinance, allowing distilleries to operate and permitting some businesses to sell more beer but less wine.

The ordinance would open up Gainesville to distilleries, and Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard said several people have expressed interest in starting one.

Plans for Gainesville Distilling Co. were called off in June after permitting issues.

Under the new ordinance, people would be allowed to sample up to 48 ounces of beer per day, an increase from the current limit of 24 ounces. That allows for three pints, and the proposed changes include eliminating the requirement for samples to come in four different varieties.

The sample size for wine is staying the same, at 24 ounces. But whether someone is sampling beer or wine, they are limited to a total of three drinks. A “drink” is defined as 16 ounces of beer or 8 ounces of wine.

Additional changes include extending happy hours from 4 to 8 p.m. and increasing samples of wine allowed at wine tastings from 16 to 24 ounces.


Dawsonville Highway development

A development on Dawsonville Highway that would include a fitness center, retail and restaurants is up for a vote Tuesday.

The site, which is near the Jackson EMC offices and the North Lake Square shopping center, is the former location of the New Horizons West nursing home, which was demolished in 2013. The grocery chain Lidl withdrew a request to build a store at the site last year.

The company that would be operating the 22,000-square-foot fitness center has not yet been announced. There would also be a 6,800-square-foot building with retail and restaurants.

No one from the public spoke about the development at an Aug. 14 planning board meeting. The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board approved the request.


Knickerbocker Lake Dam

The Knickerbocker Lake Dam, located on East Lake Drive and built in the 1950s, is set to receive about $3 million in upgrades.

Trees will be removed from the dam, and riprap will be added on either side. To keep debris and trees from blocking the spillway, a screen will be installed. The existing drain will also be repaired.

Funds will be coming from the water resources department’s capital fund.

The project was initially approved in 2015, but the city was waiting on approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the property.

Gainesville City Council

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18

Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway