Ordinance establishing entertainment district in downtown Atmore presented to council

Published 9:25 pm Monday, December 11, 2023

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The ordinance establishing an entertainment district in downtown Atmore was presented during the city council’s regular meeting Monday night.

The ordinance will be voted on by the council during the Mon., Jan. 8, 2024 meeting.

City Attorney Larry Wettermark said he worked with members of the community who expressed a desire to have a downtown entertainment district.

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Wettermark said a state law that was amended not long ago to provide a relaxing of liquor laws through the Alabama Beverage Control Board. He added that the idea wasn’t to have a free reign of liquor on the streets, but to have a unified district or a number of licenses to allow them together and have events.

“The ordinance has constraints,” he said. “First of all, you draw a district. The map will be available to the public before the city makes a decision in the next meeting. Any entity who has a liquor license will be allowed to have patrons leave the business, but have to provide a cup with their name on it (the cup). The intent was to allow as a unified district to get people to get together. The ordinance controls the size of the container. It will be involved, and there will be a little bit of enforcement of the police department. In the end, it also requires an amendment of or city ordinance about drinking in public.”

Wettermark said the ordinance will include public spaces, such as the Boxcar Willie and others.

The proposed district map includes businesses Gather, Strand Theatre, Encore, The Coffee House LLC, The Publican, Grizzly Pizza & Wings, Atmore Florist, Hawt Mess Boutique and Cotton + Co., to name a few. The proposed district is outlined in black.

In other business, the council:

• adopted a resolution in support of a SEEDs Act grant application;

• suspended the rules for an immediate consideration of the following five action items, including authorizing an option to purchase an approximately 21.78 acre parcel from Swift Brothers LLC as part of the SEEDs Act application;

•authorized an option to purchase 59.90 acre parcel from Swift Brothers LLC as part of SEEDs Act application;

• authorized an option to purchase 4.19-acre parcel from Swift Land and Timber LLC as part of SEEDs Act application;

• authorized option to purchase 40.11-acre parcel from Swift Land and Timber LLC as part of SEEDs Act application;

• authorized purchase of triangle of land between Short, Trout and Swift Mill Road in pricing support of land acquisitions for SEEDs Act application;

• approved the authorization letter of agreement with Direct Communications for communications and community engagement plan services;

• approved the reappointment of Elliott Faircloth to the board of zoning adjustment;

• approved the Lounge Retail Liquor License transfer from The Publican to Atmore Publican LLC. District 4 Councilmember Shawn Lassiter abstained from the vote as his wife, Hope, is the owner of The Publican;

• approved the Martin Luther King Parade request for Jan. 15, 2024, at 10 a.m.;

• heard a proposal from Dani Dials of Fox 10 News to promote city growth by increasing revenue through tourism. The proposal includes a two-hour studio produced show that shines a spotlight on the city, Dials said. The show will include business features and segments, and live interviews and chats.

Dials said the total investment from the city is $25,000 for the show. District 3 Councilmember Eunice Johnson said the city is going to table the proposal for another date; and,

• heard from Codi Smith, who introduced Feather and Fangs, a non profit exotic animal rescue organization.