Fresh off voters giving their OK to liquor sales by the drink, Lula officials are now poised to craft a new alcoholic beverages law, which could be in place in Lula by early 2017.
“I think you got one (restaurant) that may hold its opening … possibly until that ordinance is in place,” Mayor Milton Turner said, referring to Napoli’s, a planned pizzeria on Athens Street near Main Street.
Lula City Council members agreed at Monday night’s work session to hold a special work session on the issue.
Prompting the city efforts is last week’s voter approval of a referendum allowing liquor sales in restaurants and other establishments.
“We can see what’s available for (the city attorney) and go ahead and set that (work session) date,” Turner said.
“We already have the ordinances here,” he added. “We were just waiting to see if the referendum passed.”
City Manager Dennis Bergin told council members, “We have given you a copy of what’s been recommended by talking with the attorneys.”
Currently, only beer and wine package sales at local stores Monday through Saturday are allowed.
The vote didn’t cover beer and wine sales at restaurants. Officials have said they could be part of a comprehensive alcoholic beverages ordinance, if the city wants to enact liquor by the drink.
“The public ruled on the issue of liquor sales by the drink, and we’re just assuming you want to incorporate beer and wine, which is your authority to do,” Bergin told the council.
“We’ve asked you to look at a very detailed ordinance in that regard.”
Lula officials kicked the whole alcohol issue around for a few months before voting in July to put the question on the ballot. Part of the attraction was development moving Lula’s way up Ga. 365.
The city, however, opted not to put on the ballot a separate referendum asking voters if they want liquor sales on Sunday.
There was a strong anti-liquor campaign in the city, with “Vote No” signs sprinkled along Main Street.
Residents approved the referendum by a vote of 303-232.