Suwannee Democrat


December 17, 2013

City of Live Oak: Amended alcohol ordinance passes 3-2

Live Oak —

The Live Oak City Council passed the second and final reading of Ordinance 1348 with a 3-2 vote, Tuesday, Dec. 10, which is the city’s fourth attempt to pass an alcohol ordinance. Councilors Adam Prins and Bennie Thomas voted against. 

As an amendment to the ordinance, Councilor Jacob Grantham recommended modifying the hours in the proposed ordinance to reflect the hours currently in place, which prohibits alcoholic sales and consumption on Sundays, but to exclude full service restaurants. Grantham also recommended keeping the distance restrictions proposed in Ordinance 1348. 

According to Live Oak Development Manager George Curtis, the ordinance which was adopted provides that times for sales and consumption be the same as they were prior: until midnight Monday through Friday, with those establishments which are licensed for consumption to be allowed an extra 30 minutes past midnight for consumption to stop, and all establishments must stop all sales and consumption on Saturday night at midnight with no extra 30 minutes. 

Curtis said full-service restaurants which have been approved continue to have extended hours Monday through Saturday and also limited hours on Sunday, which begin at 1 p.m. and end at 10:30 p.m. for sales and 11 p.m. for consumption.

Distance requirements were increased from 100 feet of residential properties to 250 feet and also liquor package stores would be bound by new separation requirements of 500 feet of a church, school or another liquor store, as well as 250 feet of a residential property, Curtis said.

“Otherwise, the entire chapter was reorganized with more clear and concise language, better definitions, prohibition of bottle clubs and standards which are more descriptive pertaining to prohibiting the conversion of a use from one type of establishment to another,” Curtis said.    

Should Mayor Sonny Nobles decide to sign the ordinance, it will become city law. If he doesn’t sign it and fails to present objections to the council by their next regular meeting, it will, by default, become city law. If Nobles does not approve and presents objections to the council, the passing of the ordinance could die. Should the council decide to override the mayor’s decision, four out of five councilmen would have to vote in favor of overriding him. 

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