City Beer Board Losing Much Of Its Powers Under City Council Changes

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The City Beer Board, which has featured lively meetings for many years, is losing much of its power under proposed changes.

Under changes that went before the City Council at a briefing on Tuesday, beer code violations go to an Administrative Hearing Officer. Five AHOs will work on a rotating basis.

The Beer Board would preside only in case of an appeal. The decision of the Beer Board then could be appealed to Chancery Court.

Most beer sale permit approvals will shift from the Beer Board to the Chattanooga Police Department. In the past, groups like Riverbend and Three Sisters have gone before the Beer Board to get permits for their annual events.

The local Beer Board will no longer hear wrecker cases. Chris Anderson of the mayor's office said Chattanooga is the only city in the country with the Beer Board also acting as the Wrecker Board.

Wrecker cases are to move to the city Passenger for Hire board.

Another recommended change is lessening the distance that establishments that sell beer and liquor stores can be from churches, schools and daycare centers.

The current ordinance sets a 500-foot limit from a dining establishment that sells beer and 250 feet from a liquor store.

Mr. Anderson, saying "we are living closer together now," proposed a change to 300 feet and 200 feet.

Council Chair Raquel Dotley said she wanted to leave the limits as they are, saying that convenience stores that come into a section selling beer can be disruptive to the community. Councilman Chip Henderson agreed.


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