City to amend alcoholic distance ordinance

Published 10:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2021

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The LaGrange City Council started its Tuesday meeting by initiating the amendment of the city’s alcoholic beverages ordinance requiring applicants to demonstrate compliance with state distance requirements.

The city’s current ordinance states that “no person shall knowingly or intentionally sell or offer to sell beer or malt beverages within one hundred (100) yards of an alcoholic treatment center owned and operated by the State of Georgia, by Troup County or by the City of LaGrange.”

The ordinance includes school and college grounds and church buildings.

The 100-yard distance allowed in this ordinance will remain the same, City Manager Meg Kelsey explained, but the way it’s enforced will be changed.

The city will now require that a survey be submitted to demonstrate that compliance with businesses.

“That’s already been required for liquor, but the proposal is that it’s done for everything,” City Planner Mark Kostial said. “We’ve had a couple of issues where we have given a license where we shouldn’t have and vice versa. Everyone going forward, for a new application, will have to demonstrate compliance with the survey.”

Current alcohol license holders are exempt from this requirement. 

In other business at the meeting:

  • The council’s additional approved a decision to amend the city’s sidewalk cafe ordinance.  This change will authorize the use of additional equipment and furnishings outside of traditional tables and chairs for inner-city businesses, allowing the city to spearhead more “streetscaping” in the area. “It would consist of lighting, gas lanterns and benches, those types of amenities [that] we would prepare,” Kelsey explained during the council’s Tuesday work session. The council approved the first reading for the ordinance at its regular meeting. The city would lease these materials to businesses in a 25-year lease, which the council also approved. The budget for this project would be roughly $350,000, Kelsey said, and may begin next spring.
  • The council additionally approved the Board of Planning and Zoning Appeals recommendation on a request to annex/zone 1360 LaFayette Parkway from general commercial to corridor mixed-use.  The facility will be used as a showroom for BC Stone Homes LLC. A public hearing will be held Nov. 23 regarding the rezoning request.