Restaurants and bars in mixed-use buildings in Woodstock will have to stop serving alcohol earlier in the evening under new changes to the city’s alcohol ordinance.
The Woodstock City Council approved amending a portion of city code related to alcohol sales in mixed-use buildings Monday. The amendment passed in a 4-2 vote, with council members Brian Wolfe and Tracy Collins opposed.
Bars and restaurants located in mixed-use buildings are now required to stop selling alcohol to patrons at midnight, when they previously were allowed to sell until 2 a.m., the same cutoff time as places not located in mixed-use buildings. The approved changes also included a clear definition of what a mixed-use structure is, referring to buildings that contain space for both residential and commercial uses.
Although a public hearing had been conducted during the council’s April 12 meeting, the council agreed to give both supporters and opponents of the amendments one more chance to share their thoughts at Monday’s meeting.
Anita Padgett with the Woodstock Downtown Residential Association spoke in favor of the amendment. Padgett put forth a list of issues residents in the apartments and condominiums located in the building above ICE Martini Bar had complained about in the past, including loud noises, disorderly conduct and even altercations between patrons.
“We respect these businesses, and we want them to respect us,” Padgett said.
Attorney Carey Miller, representing ICE Martini Bar, addressed the council with concerns about the proposed changes. Miller said he and his clients were not necessarily opposed to the measure, but he requested the council table the change until July 1, so that renovations to update ICE’s interior could be completed before the amendments took effect.
Discussing the amendments further, Councilman Colin Ake said this was going to be something the city would have to deal with as more mixed-use buildings are constructed in town. Councilman Warren Johnson noted the number of complaints made by residents, and believed that this showed there was something wrong with the ordinance and action should be taken.