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The Local Agenda: City Council to hear amendments to pawnshop, alcohol ordinances today
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Gainesville City Council will meet today to hear two proposed ordinance amendments that will loosen restrictions on businesses hoping to open in the city. 

The first amendment has been proposed in the face of potential litigation from TitleMax. 

The existing ordinance requires pawnshops to be separated by at least 2,500 feet, and that condition had prohibited a new TitleMax from opening at 719 Jesse Jewell Parkway SW because Georgia Auto Pawn already is operating directly across the street. 

However, the city issued permits late last year that allowed interior renovations and the construction of a freestanding sign for the TitleMax. Only later was it discovered the location ran afoul of the city ordinance. 

TitleMax then threatened to sue, but the city appears ready to gut language from the ordinance regarding the required distance between pawnshops to avoid this potential litigation. 

The second amendment concerns a change to the city’s alcoholic beverage ordinance. 

City Council voted 4-1 on March 18 to approve an amendment that will allow Growlers on Main, a Flowery Branch establishment that serves draft beer to go, to open a new location in the downtown Gainesville square. 

A second and final reading of the amendment will be heard today, and the change would take effect April 10. 

The amendment sets the definition for a growler, which is a “reusable, re-sealable and professionally sanitized glass jug used to transport draft beer off-premises for consumption.” 

It also limits taste tests at the establishment to three one-ounce portions.

Funding resolutions also on City Council’s docket 

Gainesville City Council also is expected to approve two resolutions regarding funding from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. 

The first award, in the amount of $10,000, will support the police department’s purchase of educational material and traffic safety equipment. 

The second award, in the amount of $2,000, also will support the department’s purchase of traffic safety equipment. 

City Council will meet today at 5:30 p.m. in the municipal courtroom at the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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