Statesboro City Council addresses alcohol ordinances

Matthew Enfinger

A Statesboro City Council meeting brought up relevant discussions regarding local alcohol ordinances last Tuesday.

The public hearing and second reading of Ordinance 2017-01 was approved by Statesboro City Council . The ordinance will re-establish the Statesboro Code of Ordinances for the proximity requirements for alcoholic beverages by designating a specific location (the front door of a business) for the measurement to start. This applies except to the state requirements that primarily regard package stores. Another change is that the required distance to residential zoning districts has been removed.

Statesboro City Council also addressed the Ordinance 2017-02 that would revise the city licensor requirements for an alcohol licence. This revision would be made so that the Statesboro alcohol licences mirror those that the state has in the Georgia Administrative code.

“There’s some very straightforward compliance issues in the state regulations. Some have pertained to us; some have nothing to do with us,” Mayor Jan Moore said. “But, the ones that do they are very simple…We are trying to go issue by issue to match them up.”

Ordinance 2017-03, which regards the span of the look back period, was up for discussion. The amendment would include revising the statement, “Any previous office within the past five year period as measured from the day of the previous offence to the date of the current offense.” Under the amended ordinance, five years would be changed to three years.

Mayor Moore felt that this change could be “a double edge sword.” “If you only look back at three years if something happened in five years and to put it into context, it won’t be presented that way,” Moore said. “If somebody’s had a really good record and a little short record of bad luck, you’re not going to see that.”

Ordinance 2017-04 was the last of the four alcohol ordinances to be discussed at the meeting. Its intent is to amend Sec. 6-3 of the City of Statesboro Code of ordinances to redefine alcohol use at catered events. The revision would include changing the ordinance’s current language to alcoholic beverages may be “served and or sold” as opposed to just “served.”

Although Ordinance 2017-01 was the only ordinance to be approved, the other three ordinances will be voted in the next session of City Council.