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City Council Considering Alcohol on Public Property Code Amendments

Upper Arlington City Council is currently considering proposed City Code amendments relative to the sale and consumption of alcohol on public property.

One of the proposed amendments is for the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Sunny 95 Park. As a popular rental facility that is frequently used for weddings and special events, the Barn was first added as a permissible site for the sale and consumption of alcohol in 2013. As currently written, the code restricts these activities to inside the building, within the fenced in patios, under the stage or under tented structures. The proposed amendment modifies the allowable area to anywhere within 60 feet of the building, as long as the area is enclosed by temporary fencing. The grassy area between the stage and walking path by the multisport court measures 60 feet and would be the space typically used. The provision for outdoor alcohol sales and consumption would be limited to City or community non-profit events along with the State requirement for necessary permits.

In the fall of 2021, the Upper Arlington Education Foundation had rented the Barn for the first time for its annual Golden Bear Bash fundraising event. In preparation for that event, Council authorized a one-time provision to allow use of the lawn to the immediate south of the facility without requiring tents. The event proved successful – demonstrating that the area could be successfully contained by using temporary fencing – and is scheduled to return in 2022 and future years. Modifying the code would facilitate the Bash and other community events, providing more space beyond a traditional indoor rental, and greater flexibility in how the facility could be utilized.

A second amendment is the addition of the Upper Arlington Community Center as a public facility in which the sale and consumption of alcohol would be permitted. This is in keeping with the business plan for the new facility, which will include rentable space that will also be suitable for weddings and special events.

Additional amendments would clean up dated language relative to the use of Northam Park, removing a named special event that is no longer in existence (Taste of UA) and allowing for the sale and consumption of alcohol at Northam Park – in an enclosed area – for events that have undergone the necessary permitting and approval process.

In all instances, any entity wishing to include the sale and consumption of alcohol for an event at one of these locations would need to comply with all state and local liquor laws, obtain all necessary state permits, and provide proof of adequate insurance. Sales and consumption of alcohol would end no later than 11 pm, or earlier, if deemed appropriate by the City Manager, based on various circumstances associated with the event and its potential impact on the premises and surrounding area. The City Manager could also require the use of a special duty officer or additional accommodations to ensure a safe and successful event.

Council is also considering allowing a one-time permit for the sale and consumption of alcohol in support of a new event being planned by the City’s Parks & Recreation Department – the Arts on Arlington, scheduled for July 28, 2022 at the Mallway. This would allow the department to establish a beer garden within an enclosed area in Mallway Park, designed to enhance the event, increase attendance and help offset costs. If this trial proves successful, future amendments to the code to may be proposed to accommodate this and other events.

The schedule for Council’s consideration of this issue is as follows:

  • March 21 City Council Meeting – First Reading, Public Hearing
  • Monday, April 4 City Council Meeting – Second Reading, Public Hearing
  • Monday, April 11 City Council Meeting – Third Reading, Public Hearing, Council Action

All Council meetings begin at 7 pm and are held in the Council Chamber, 3600 Tremont Road and can also be accessed via Zoom. Click here for agenda details.

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