City to change beer ordinance to include special events

Published 3:53 pm Monday, December 18, 2023

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By Buzz Trexler
Star Correspondent
A temporary beer request for a monthly after-hours event at the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce was given partial approval during Thursday’s regular meeting of the Elizabethton Beverage Board and officials said it was time to change the ordinance.

Director Joy McCray submitted a request for 12 private events to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in 2024, but was only granted temporary permits for the first four months of the year as the board reviews the code.

City Councilman Jeff Treadway said the board has in the past discussed addressing a “deficiency” in regulations regarding temporary permits but has yet to do so. The current municipal code only addresses temporary permits concerning retailers who either have an existing permit or are filing for a new permit.

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“This is probably gonna be coming up more and more frequently and in talking this through, I think we should approve some of these and give our folks a chance to work on that beer ordinance to clarify it for future,” Treadway said in recommending approval of the first four dates.

City Attorney Roger C. Day said, “I think what probably needs to happen is put a new section of code that addresses special event permits because we’re having more special events and address it that way.”

“Things are changing, and that can be good, that can be OK,” City Manager Daniel Estes said, adding that regulatory bodies can sometimes be “half a step behind” what is going on in the community. He credited the Beverage Board with being “flexible and willing to let special events occur and accommodate that and we’ve seen that flourish and I think go well in the community.”

Estes said approved special events have been “going well,” but added, “The issue’s kind of ripened now to the point to where we need to address it and we can more formally figure out what that means. Because it’s not this one, it’s the next 10 that come in the door.”

The city manager asked that time be given for staff “to get our arms around some ideas and get some proposals, some recommendations” for the board to consider. McCray was told the remaining dates would be on the board’s agenda for consideration in April, which Estes indicated should give staff the time it needed.