Gainesville City Council will vote when it meets Tuesday on several proposed changes to Gainesville’s alcohol ordinance, which are meant to promote new businesses and mirror state regulations.
The ordinance was first written in 1958, and while amendments have been made over the years, city officials said now was the time for a complete rewrite and overhaul.
That’s due, in part, to the emergence over the last year of growlers, craft breweries and farm wineries in the city and county.
Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard said the proposed changes are meant as an economic development tool taking into account recent trends and looking forward to what might come next.
Proposed changes include lowering seating requirements at restaurants; allowing for a monetary fine in place of a suspension of an alcohol license for ordinance violations; expanding taste tests at local farm wineries and growlers; and allowing nonrestaurant retail service businesses, such as a nail salon, to obtain on-site consumption licenses.
Changes would also allow home brewers to host events, and would create licenses for farm winery tasting rooms, brewpubs and special events.
Finally, there is a proposal to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in parks upon city approval.