Loganville looks at changing alcohol ordinance to attract more restaurants and bars

The City of Loganville is looking at reducing some of the more stringent policies in its alcohol ordinance in an effort to help attract more restaurants and bars to the downtown area. The issue was discussed at Monday’s City Council work session with plans for the city attorney to draft the changes for possible approval and implementation at next month’s City Council meeting.

“The city has the authority to make distances less stringent for establishments offering consumption on the premises,” said Loganville City Attorney Robyn Webb, adding there is a bill about to go through the state legislature that will give local jurisdictions the ability to do so. The distances under state law will still apply for establishments selling alcoholic beverages for wholesale, such as package stores. “This will enable the city to lessen those distances to make bars and restaurants able to have more locations, particularly on Main Street.”

Currently in Loganville, no retail dealer selling alcohol for on-premise consumption can be located within 50 yards of any church grounds, any structure that is used as a residence, or within 100 yards of the property line of the tract of land on which a school building, school grounds or college campus is located or within 100 yards of any public library which is on the same side of the street as the location.

Other changes under consideration by Loganville city officials include the food to alcohol ratios as well as the ability for open containers in the areas on Main Street currently being developed for entertainment, such as the town green.

The suggested changes include:

  • Reducing the distance requirement from 50 yards to zero city-wide
  • Allowing for open containers to be used, only plastic or cans, no glass – or possibly Loganville cups sold through the vendors –  in the Main Street area only.
  • Switching the food to alcohol ratio from its current 75 percent food – 25 percent alcohol to 75 percent alcohol to 25 percent food, also only in the Main Street area.

“We want to develop our downtowns and there are occasions when bars would come downtown. We don’t want to lose some because of really strong rules,” said Councilman Skip Baliles.”

Webb is also looking at possibly drafting in at some time specific wording that would allow for growlers to be sold in Loganville. At the moment, the sale of growlers would not qualify under the Loganville alcohol ordinances.

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