Similar alcohol ordinances passed in other cities

Published 3:30 am Saturday, January 13, 2018

Mayor Jason Reeves said the Troy City Council will look to what other cities have done while discussing limiting alcohol sales by restaurants and bars near churches and schools.

Councilmember Greg Meeks, District 2, asked Tuesday that the council consider an ordinance to block on-premises sale of alcohol within 500 feet of a church or school.

““I’d like us to consider as a council in the future – some cities and communities have an ordinance that you cannot sell liquor within 500 feet of a church or school,” Meeks said.

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Reeves said the council can look toward the Alabama League of Municipalities to see what other communities have done.

“One of the great things about the League is you get an opportunity to see what other people have done without having to reinvent the wheel,” Reeves said.

Many cities in Alabama do have an ordinance regulating the on-premises sale of alcohol near churches and schools, but the exact distances and other regulations vary by city.

Dothan, for example, actually blocks on-premise licenses from being granted to business within 600 feet of a church or school.

Cullman has an ordinance prohibiting on-premises license from being granted to businesses within 1,500 feet of a church or school.

Several other communities however set a distance lesser than 500 feet.

Centre only blocks restaurants from on-premises licenses if within 200 feet of a church or school, while clubs and bars can only be granted a license if they are at least 2,500 feet away. Oneonta sets the distance at 250 feet for all on-premises licensees. Fort Payne and Cedar Bluff set the distance at 200 feet.

Some cities also have ordinances that regulate off-premises licenses near churches and schools, something the council said they were not planning to block.

Cullman requires the same standard of 1,500 feet of distance from a church or school to grant an off-premises license.

Meeks said Tuesday that he would be willing to discuss potential alternatives with his fellow councilmembers.

Council president Marcus Paramore said he expects there to be a long discussion between councilmembers before moving forward with an ordinance regarding the issue.

“I think it needs some good, thorough research and thinking things out, weighing the pros and cons – We don’t want to jump into something too quickly,” Paramore said.

The next meeting of the Troy City Council is Tuesday, January 23 at City Hall. The executive committee will meet upstairs at 4 p.m. and the council will convene in the City Council Chambers at 5 p.m.