Sunday, December 17th, 2017

City council revisiting rules on alcohol sales

Future business development has the Clarendon City Council rethinking rules regulating the sale of alcohol in the city.

City Administrator David Dockery brought the issue to the council during its regular meeting last Thursday, April 13.

“We have locations that have great potential for development but are restricted by their distance to a school or church,” Dockery said.

Current city rules allows for alcohol sales along US 287 within the city, along State Hwy. 70 from US 287 to the north city limit, and in the Central Business District. Sales are prohibited within 300 feet of the main house of worship of a church, a public or private school, and licensed daycare or child care facilities. Variances may be applied for under the rules.

The problem, Dockery said, is that the city is limited on highway and central business district locations. He also said he doesn’t want the city to have to answer why one variance request might be approved but another might not be.

Dockery said the City of Allen set specific zones that were exempt from its distance regulations, giving a blanket authorization, for example, to sell alcohol for on premise consumption within its central business district to encourage restaurants to locate there.

The administrator also said he recently learned that a property is under contract in town that may lead to a future variance request under current rules.

Alderman Nathan Floyd said he felt that the more businesses Clarendon has the better the town is.

Dockery had previously talked with the city’s legal representation, but the council asked him to visit with the attorney again to get more clarity on the options the city has on this issue.

In other city business, the council repealed Ordinance 307 which prohibited fire arms on public property and in public buildings because portions of the ordinance were in conflict with state law after the passage of open carry rules. The city had also received legal advice that it was better to not have signs posted about firearms.

Aldermen also received updates on code compliance issues, and Dockery gave an updated on the USDA project to improve water infrastructure in the city.

New cost estimates for the project have come in about $530,000 higher than originally anticipated, and Dockery is working with engineers to come with cost savings and ways to make parts of the project optional in order to bring the price tag back down.

The administrator is also working on a three-year plan to bring City Hall into ADA compliance after the cost on that work was estimated at $61,650.

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