Council work session
When: 9 a.m. today
Where: Georgia Mountains Center, 301 Main St. SW, Gainesville
At this morning's work session, the Gainesville City Council is planning to discuss changing some of its ordinances related to alcoholic beverages and adult entertainment.
Some establishments can sell alcoholic beverages on a patio or other open area, but those sales are prohibited if the patio is within 75 feet of a public street or other thoroughfare. If amendments are approved during today's council meeting, the 75 foot requirement would be eliminated.
For patrons like James Malone, elimination of the 75 foot requirement would make dining in pleasant weather that much more enjoyable.
"I like having a cocktail with dinner," said Malone, a Gainesville resident. "And when the weather is nice, I usually pick where I'm going to eat by who has a patio - and can serve me a drink."
Many restaurants on the square fit that bill because buffer restrictions don't apply in the "central business zone" that encompasses the area.
"Things are a little more lenient for businesses on the square, which is (one of the reasons why I chose this location)," said Mark Jordan, owner of Atlas Pizza on Washington Street. "Some of the other properties that we looked at before picking this one would have been affected."
While the establishment does have a patio area, Jordan says he only just recently applied for his alcoholic beverage license.
The proposed amendments also would establish a one-year waiting period between when an establishment loses its alcohol license and when that establishment could apply for a new one.
Also, while the city council isn't expected to act on updating its adult entertainment ordinance until August, the group today will begin discussing changes.
During a work session on July 15, city staff presented the council with a packet of information containing research about some of the effects of adult entertainment establishments. Among other things, such establishments can cause crime and blight in the communities where they are located, according to the information gathered by city staff.
In an effort to curtail such effects, the city is considering several changes - including requiring employees of adult entertainment establishments to get a yearly permit.