Draft of al­co­hol laws pre­sented

1st read­ing of or­di­nances sched­uled for July 17

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - JACKIE GUTKNECHT jgutknecht@cov­news.com

The Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil was pre­sented with the first draft of the newly pro­posed al­co­hol or­di­nances which would al­low for hos­pi­tal­ity drinks and brown bagging at lo­cal re­tail­ers Mon­day night dur­ing its work ses­sion.

The or­di­nances will still have to go through a first and sec­ond read­ing by the coun­cil be­fore it is en­acted. The draft was pro­vided to the coun­cil Mon­day to al­low each coun­cilmem­ber the op­por­tu­nity to re­view it be­fore it is of­fi­cially on the agenda for a vote.

After a consensus from the coun­cil, the first read­ing of the or­di­nances will be added to the next meet­ing’s agenda. That meet­ing is sched­uled for July 17.

Cov­ing­ton City Man­ager Leigh Anne Knight said the draft or­di­nance was cre­ated based on dis­cus­sions with coun­cil mem­bers, lo­cal re­tail­ers and sur­vey re­sults from the Cov­ing­ton/Newton County Cham­ber of Com­merce. The Cham­ber sent out a sur­vey to all cham­ber mem­bers in the City of Cov­ing­ton ask­ing for feed­back on the pro­posed al­co­hol or­di­nances.

“Now it’s be­fore you (the coun­cil), for you to read through, for you to di­gest and tell us what you like or don’t like with it,” she said.

The or­di­nances are split into three de­pend­ing on how the al­co­hol is served: brown bagging, amenity drinks — free and per­sonal service busi­nesses (hair sa­lons, nail sa­lons, beauty shops) pro­vide al­co­hol to pay­ing cus­tomers.

Brown bagging

Brown bagging is only to be al­lowed at a busi­ness de­fined as an “art shop.” Ac­cord­ing to the pro­posed or­di­nance, an art shop is de­fined as “a re­tail busi­ness de­voted ex­clu­sively to pro­vid­ing art education that is lim­ited to in­struc­tion in paint­ing, sculp­ture, sewing, em­broi­dery, pot­tery and sim­i­lar crafts; or to sell­ing and dis­play­ing por­traits, paint­ings, sculp­tures and sim­i­lar art­work and crafts. An art shop may sell art sup­plies in ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing art education or to of­fer­ing art­work for sale.”

An art shop that has ap­plied for the $250 li­cense, would then be al- lowed to of­fer brown bagging, ac­cord­ing to the pro­posed draft, with the fol­low­ing reg­u­la­tions:

No more than one bot­tle of wine and two un­opened 16-ounce con­tain­ers of beer, or the equiv­a­lent, could be con­sumed on the premises by cus­tomers.

No cus­tomer of an art shop shall con­sume more than two six-ounce serv­ings of wine or two 12-ounce serv­ings of beer dur­ing a three-hour pe­riod or four six-ounce serv­ings of wine or four 12-ounce serv­ings of beer within a sin­gle busi­ness day.

Art shop staff shall not store,

keep or han­dle any wine or beer be­long­ing to the cus­tomer.

Any wine or beer opened at the busi­ness must be dis­posed of on premises and not car­ried out in an un­sealed con­tainer.

An art shop must have an es­tab­lished clos­ing time of no later than 10 p.m.

Amenity drink­ing– free

Store own­ers in­ter­ested in ob­tain­ing a li­cense for amenity drink­ing must meet the li­cense re­quire­ments for any­one sell­ing al­co­holic bev­er­ages by the drink for on-premises con­sump­tion. Pro­vid­ing the al­co­hol must be a se­condary func­tion of the busi­ness and is not el­i­gi­ble for restau­rants or other eat­ing es­tab­lish­ments.

A busi­ness that has ap­plied for the $500 li­cense, would be al­lowed to of­fer amenity drinks, ac­cord­ing to the pro­posed draft, with the fol­low­ing reg­u­la­tions:

The beer and/or wine must be pro­vided solely as an act of hos­pi­tal­ity and no pur­chase of any good or service shall be re­quired to re­ceive the bev­er­age.

The service of amenity drinks can take place no more than one day per cal­en­dar month.

The or­di­nance would limit the service of no more than two two-ounce serv­ings of wine or two four-ounce serv­ings of beer to a per­son dur­ing a three-hour pe­riod or four two-ounce serv­ings of wine or four four-ounce serv­ings of beer to a per­son within a sin­gle busi­ness day.

All beer and/or wine pro­vided by the li­cense holder must be ac­com­pa­nied by com­pli­men­tary hors d’oeu­vre.

The busi­ness must have an es­tab­lished clos­ing time of no later than 10 p.m.

Per­sonal ser­vices busi­nesses pro­vide al­co­hol to pay­ing cus­tomers

Per­sonal ser­vices busi­nesses are busi­nesses such as hair sa­lons, nail sa­lons or beauty shops. Pro­vid­ing the al­co­hol must be a se­condary func­tion of the busi­ness and is not el­i­gi­ble for restau­rants or other eat­ing es­tab­lish­ments.

A busi­ness that has ap­plied for the $500 li­cense, would be al­lowed to of­fer al­co­hol to pay­ing cus­tomers, ac­cord­ing to the pro­posed draft, with the fol­low­ing reg­u­la­tions:

The beer and/or wine can­not be sold to any cus­tomer not pur­chas­ing per­sonal service and must be in­cluded in the cost of a per­sonal service pro­vided to the cus­tomer.

The li­cense will limit the service to no more than two six-ounce serv­ings of wine or two 12-ounce serv­ings of beer to a per­son dur­ing a three-hour pe­riod of four six-ounce serv­ings of wine or four 12-ounce serv­ings of beer to a per­son within a sin­gle busi­ness day.

All beer and/or wine pro­vided by the li­cense holder must be ac­com­pa­nied by com­pli­men­tary hors d’oeu­vre.

The busi­ness must have an es­tab­lished clos­ing time of no later than 10 p.m.

Coun­cilmem­bers raise ini­tial con­cerns

Coun­cil­woman Hawnethia Wil­liams clar­i­fied with Knight that the or­di­nance, as drafted is a city­wide or­di­nance and does not limit any cer­tain dis­trict. Knight said it would have been dif­fi­cult to iso­late it by zon­ing districts be­cause of the way the city’s zon­ing map is cur­rently set up.

“If you choose to do a cer­tain dis­trict that is up to you,” Knight said. “We just wrote the or­di­nance the way we dis­cussed it orig­i­nally, which was city­wide.”

Coun­cil­man Josh McKelvey said he had is­sues with the amount of al­co­hol al­lowed in the pro­posed or­di­nances.

“That’s not even a full beer, I don’t even see the point in serv­ing,” he said.

The coun­cil agreed the drafted or­di­nances are a “good place to start,” and will hold the first read­ing to discuss changes to them Mon­day, July 17. The coun­cil will meet for a work ses­sion at 5:30 p.m. and then its reg­u­lar meet­ing at 6:30 p.m.

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