City takes step to­ward al­co­hol law changes

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - JACKIE GUTKNECHT [email protected]­

The Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil unan­i­mously agreed to move for­ward with al­low­ing its city at­tor­ney and plan­ning and zon­ing di­rec­tor work to­wards cre­at­ing new sec­tions in the city’s al­co­hol or­di­nance which could al­low for brown­bag­ging and hos­pi­tal­ity drinks.

The or­di­nance, once drafted and ap­proved, could al­low city busi­nesses to of­fer cus­tomers a glass of cham­pagne while shop­ping or a glass of wine while get­ting their hair done as a hos­pi­tal­ity drink. The or­di­nance, once drafted and ap­proved, could also al­low for cer­tain busi­nesses to al­low cus­tomers to bring in a bot­tle of wine or beer for an event, also known as brown-bag­ging.

City At­tor­ney Frank Turner and Plan­ning & Zon­ing Di­rec­tor Scott Gaither have been tasked with cre­at­ing the draft or­di­nance. Once drafted, it will go through two read- ings by the Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil where changes can be made be­fore it is ap­proved.

Turner said there are things the city needs to con­sider when re­view­ing the or­di­nances, in­clud­ing set­ting lim­i­ta­tions on the amount of al­lowed al­co­hol and whether it should be city-wide or lim­ited to the down­town area.

The dis­cus­sion for or­di­nance cre­ation started after busi­nesses on the square were cited for of­fer­ing hos­pi­tal­ity drinks. Gaither said since the or­di­nance does not cur­rently al­low for hos­pi­tal­ity drinks or brown-bag­ging, it is pro­hib­ited.

Deb­bie Harper, in­terim main street di­rec­tor, said sev­eral sur­round­ing cities al­low for hos­pi­tal­ity drink and brown-bag­ging and the ad­di­tion of the new or­di­nances would help the city re­main com­pet­i­tive.

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