City of Brookhaven

Agenda Item

Alcohol Ordinance Presentation - Assistant City Manager Steve Chapman


Department:City CouncilSponsors:

Meeting History

Jun 29, 2017 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting

City Manager Christian Sigman provided background of the recommended rewrite of the ordinance. This item was presented to Council in a previous meeting. (A memo of June 29, 2017 summarizing the proposed Alcohol Ordinance Revision and Power Point Presentation for Alcohol Permit Analysis are attached in the agenda packet. Also, a redlined version of the Alcohol Ordinance was available in the agenda packet information.)

Chief Yandura explained a presentation by Crime Analyst Abby Lucas and Deputy Chief Grullon. (Presentation available in the record.) The issues with the current hours were responding to calls all the time from midnight to 6:00 a.m. The Police Department was experiencing violent crimes with those hours. He checked with other jurisdictions and they have changed their hours to 2:00 a.m. and the crime had decreased.

Ms. Lucas presented the City of Brookhaven Alcohol Permit Analysis. There were 73 businesses with alcohol licenses in the City. There were 10 top locations identified based on the highest police requests. An analysis was conducted to determine the primary time frame when Police presence was requested. Calls for service and incident reports were analyzed. The time frame was from January 1, 2016 to May 15, 2017. There were 291 calls reported from the 10 businesses analyzed and 69% were between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Also, 22% of the calls occurred from 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. for an entire day. Of the 795 calls for service received at the top ten alcohol serving businesses, 479 occurred between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., representing 60% of the total calls for service. Of the DUI incidents between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., 72% of the incidents of the DUI arrest offender lived outside of the City of Brookhaven. She presented some pictures of crashes due to DUI's that happened in the City. She reported on a case where firearms were fired and case of aggravated assault that occurred at 3 a.m. She reported on aggravated assaults after leaving the clubs. The analysis demonstrated that requested police presence increased dramatically the longer each alcohol serving establishment remained open and spiked between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Assistant City Manager Steve Chapman explained that the City looked at the Alcohol Ordinance and noticed there were changes that needed to be made. When first started getting complaints, he took hard look at actual ordinance and discussed with the Police Department, Legal, and the Finance Department. He explained that having an alcohol license was a privilege. He summarized the recommended changes and noted they were listed in the Memo of June 29, 2017 (available in the agenda packet information).

Mr. Chapman referred to the memo and summarized the changes:

Section 4-101 - This added section documents that the acquisition of an alcohol permit is a privilege and not a right.

Section 4-102 - This added section documents that the City’s intent is to set standards and regulation for alcohol permits.

Section 4-103 - This section has been enhanced with additional and greater detail of definitions as they relate to the remainder of the code section. The “disciplinary action”, “complimentary service” and “change of ownership” definitions are examples that have been greatly expanded. This section also defines an “entertainment venue’ and an “event venue”.

Section 4-200 - This section has been enhanced to include an expanded requirement regarding “change of ownership”.

Section 4-201 - This section has been enhanced to include an expanded table that clearly identifies the different license/permit types and classes. The table is followed with a detail of each license/permit class. This change should minimize any ambiguity with respect to the type of alcoholic beverage license/permit the applicant is pursuing.

Section 4-203 - This section has been enhanced to further define “who” can apply and “how” does one apply for an alcohol license/permit.

Section 4-205 - This is an added section that documents the process in which the granting of an alcohol license/permit will be conducted. This section provides for action to be taken if a license is denied/suspended/revoked or has been refused to be renewed.

Section 4-206 - This section has been enhanced to include posting of an advertisement on the premises in which the alcohol license is being sought. This advertisement will also be required for any change of ownership.

Section 4-300 - This added section documents the conditions that are required to be followed by the alcohol license/permit holder. This section primarily deals with the conduct of the business as it relates to its patrons and the space in which it is operating. In addition, there is a new requirement to display the license number in the window of the business.

Section 4-301 - This added section mandates cooperation with the police department.

Section 4-302 - This section addresses the hours of operation. The major change in this section is the change of hours to be similar with those of surrounding cities. This change is designed for public safety purposes. This change should discourage individuals from driving to the City of Brookhaven from other areas that may have closed earlier.

Section 4-304 - This added section prohibits alcohol to be dispensed to individuals in motor vehicles (i.e. no drive through beverage sales).

Section 4-305 - This added section prohibits alcohol consumption on City streets (except permitted events).

Section 4-306 - This section has been greatly enhanced to include the conditions under which an employee of a license holder may obtain/hold a license. Also, clarification is provided to license holders that they must also hold and individual pouring license if they wish to pour drinks.

Section 4-309 - This section removes the sexually oriented business requirements. Section 4-201(b) specifically prohibits sexually-oriented businesses from holding an alcohol license. It will not apply to any SOB that has a separate agreement with the City.

Section 4-315 - This section has been revised by eliminating the distance requirement between purchase and consumption.

Section 4-500 - This is a new section added to address the requirements for a “home brew” event.

Section 4-503 - This section has been enhanced to include a requirement for ingress/egress to the premises.

Section 4-700 - This section has been added to address the requirement for caterers to hold an alcohol license/permit.

Section 4-701 - This section has been added to detail the eligibility and application for a caterer.

Section 4-900 - This section has been greatly enhanced to define the requirements for persons under the age of 21 years at premises that serve alcohol.

Section 4-901 - This section has been added to reinforce that persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages.

Section 4-1000 - This section has been added to define the penalties either through a revocation or a monetary penalty for violation of the ordinance. Fines for a second or third offense have been increased.

For fiscal impact, the license and permit fees would be reviewed annually as part of the budget process. Staff was recommending Council take the information to review and consider. The item would come back at the July 25 work shop meeting for consideration and discussion, and final approval on August 27 if Council considers. Mayor Ernst referred to the information and noted the information was out to the community.

City Attorney Chris Balch noted that the City had already had conversations with the Georgia Restaurants Associations and attorneys around the area that represented businesses in the City that sold retail and have licenses from Brookhaven for sell of alcohol. His goal would be to invite those folks to the work session in July and it would require an amendment to the rules to allow colloquial speaking with the alcohol establishments.

City Manager Christian Sigman commended staff for the approach taken on this matter. He explained how the proposed ordinance started in the Finance Department to sure up the document to align processes for auditing and inspections, then we looked at resources dedicated as City for responding to places that have alcohol permits. As seen from the presentations, there were a lot of resources used at a particular time of the day. He commended Mr. Chapman, City Attorney, Finance Department, and Police Department for pulling together a great report.