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Albemarle approves ordinance change allowing businesses to sell alcohol at events

The Albemarle City Council approved a motion Monday that would broaden the scope of groups that can receive approval of alcohol permits on public property.

Previously under ordinance 65.17, only non-profit groups incorporated in the state could be granted special event alcohol permits. But with the approved change, which strikes out the passage about nonprofits, for-profit businesses will also be allowed to serve alcohol during events. The change became effective Monday.

The rationale is that with more of these events taking place in the city in recent years, people have come to expect to be able to purchase alcohol.

The request to change the ordinance came from a local business that wanted to sell alcohol at the food truck rodeo in June.

Since most vendors that take advantage of the permits are businesses, the change “gives us more resources in terms of potential alcohol sales vendors, it supports our local economy by allowing businesses — particularly those in our downtown — to provide alcohol sales at our City Lake Park food truck events, and it responds to a demand from special event attendees,” according to staff analysis.

The council approved the change to the ordinance by a 6-1 vote. Councilwoman Shirley Lowder opposed it, saying that it would make it easier for children to get access to alcohol.

In addition to amending the ordinance, the council also approved a resolution designating City Manager Michael Ferris as the signatory for alcohol permits held on public property. Assistant Manager Nyki Hardy would become the designee in Ferris’ absence.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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