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Gainesville still working on alcohol laws
Changes sought for temporary event licenses
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Gainesville’s alcohol ordinances are likely to see another change this month as Gainesville officials continue to tweak the ordinances to make them less prohibitive to caterers and nonprofit organizations.

The Gainesville City Council will consider on Tuesday an amendment to the ordinances that will exempt caterers from the distance requirements that prohibit beer and wine from being sold or served 100 yards from a school building.

City Marshal Debbie Jones said the changes will allow caterers to serve alcohol at locations that otherwise would not meet the distance requirements with a temporary event license.

The amendment was written after a nonprofit organization had difficulty getting a pouring license for an event at the Northeast Georgia History Center, which is on Brenau University’s campus and too near to college buildings for a caterer to receive a temporary event license to serve alcohol under the current ordinances.

“There are some things you just don’t foresee, and with a catering license in place now that does enable them to go do things at other places that you wouldn’t have been able to go to before,” Jones said. “So this way, you don’t have to worry about a distance requirement.”

In the last 14 months, the ordinances have gone through a number of changes that allow restaurants to hold “happy hours” and gave Brenau University the ability to apply for special temporary event permits to sell or distribute alcoholic beverages at campus events.

Only a few months ago, the City Council voted to give restaurant owners with alcoholic beverage licenses the ability to apply for a catering permit that would allow them to sell alcohol outside of their businesses.

The council will vote on the proposed change tomorrow and a second time on Nov. 17. If it is approved both times, the ordinance will go into effect on Nov. 17, Jones said.

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