CRESTVIEW — Revisions in state alcohol permitting and sales statutes has led to the city having to evaluate its own ordinances to make sure they are in line with the new state laws.
"We can't override the state statutes," city attorney Ben Holley told the council during Monday evening's workshop.
The amended state rules were effective July 1. Growth Management Director Teresa Gaillard pointed out several provisions that will affect the city's ordinance.
●The amendment permits municipalities, counties, and nonprofit civic and charitable organizations to be issued no more than 12 temporary alcoholic beverages permits per calendar year. It requires counties and municipalities to donate all net profits from the sale of alcoholic beverages to a nonprofit civic or charitable organization within 90 days of the event.
●The amendment permits the state Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to issue an alcoholic beverage license to "railroad transit stations." "Licenses issued to railroad transit stations would not be subject to the quota license restrictions that limit the number of such licenses that may be issued per county," Gaillard stated in a briefing memo to council members.
That provision could come into effect in Crestview if Amtrak passenger rail service is restored between Jacksonville and New Orleans and the Community Redevelopment Agency is successful in building a multi-use facility modeled after the city's old train depot, Gaillard said.
●Alcoholic beverage vendors who have been licensed since June 30, 2015, to sell beer and wine only for consumption off the premises (package stores) are allowed to sell large quart, half-gallon and gallon containers called "growlers."
Gaillard said under the new rules, it appears the city's regulations that prohibit alcohol sales within 500 feet of a school or church, or 300 feet of residences, will be safe.
That was good news to Council President Joe Blocker.
"I have been asked several times, 'Mr. Blocker, do not allow our downtown to be turned into a beer garden,'" he said.
"We'll be having some requests (for alcohol licenses) so we need to get our rules and regs in order," Gaillard said. "We have several places that have requested the opportunity to serve alcohol."