Saturday, Nov 22, 2014
Local News

Lake Placid council to consider alcohol ordinance


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LAKE PLACID - Some restrictions on alcohol sales will be lifted if the town council approves the second reading on Monday of an ordinance addressing alcoholic beverages.

With the goal of helping the downtown business climate, council approved the first reading in December of an ordinance that would allow the sale of alcoholic beverages to start at 7 a.m. on Sundays instead of 1 p.m. and would remove the ban on alcohol sales within 800 feet of a church or school. The town would continue to observe a state law that bans alcohol sales within 500 feet of a school.

Also, the ordinance would allow permitted establishments to serve alcohol on patios.

Mayor John Holbrook said Friday he has not received any citizen comments on the proposed alcohol ordinance changes, but he believes there will be comments from the public at the council meeting.

"I've got mixed emotions about it, but if it is something that can maybe help our merchants, and if it's done properly, I would probably be in favor of it," he said.

Councilwoman Debra Worley has received input for and against the issue, but mostly positive.

Banning alcohol sales before 1 p.m. on Sunday affects the town's tourism, Worley believes.

"I don't think anybody can say there is a real reason to have that" ban, she said. "It's not really stopping people from drinking."

The people who come to town and go the grocery stores on Sunday are "really mad" because nobody told them about the Sunday alcohol law, Worley said.

She hasn't heard many negatives from the churches, Worley said. "I don't know if its because they are not talking to me or we will hear it on Monday," at the council meeting.

Worley believes the citizens understand that there are so many churches in town that there is no way a business can sell or serve alcohol under the current ordinance.

The businesses can't flourish if they have the restrictions on them, she said. "I think that everybody is positive; they want our businesses to be successful."

Also, council will discuss creating a community redevelopment agency.

Holbrook said he had spoken with a business owner Friday who is interested in the CRA issue and plans on attending the council meeting.

"I am glad that it is bringing out some people, either for it or against it, so at least we are going to know what the business owners of Lake Placid want and then we will just go from there," he said.

Worley said recently that she doesn't see a downside to creating a CRA.

A CRA is a public entity created by a city or county to implement community redevelopment activities. It is governed by a separate appointed board of five to seven members.

The regular meeting of the Lake Placid Town Council is scheduled at 5:30 p.m., Monday, in the council chambers in town hall at 311 W. Interlake Blvd.

mvalero@highlandstoday.com

863-386-5826

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