MILTON — The City Council will revisit its proposed Alcoholic Beverage Overlay District during its Jan. 18 Committee of the Whole meeting.
Complaints by residents of the proposed district spurred talk during the Dec. 12 council meeting of redrawing the proposed district, leading to the vote to send the issue to committee.
The overlay would override a city ordinance that requires a business downtown making 51 percent of its income from food to be able to serve alcohol.
Most complaints during the Dec. 12 meeting related to potential future bars being close to homes.
"I don’t want my great-grandkids coming to visit me and there’s a liquor store," Barbara Lauderdale said. "No, God forbid … We’ve already got one on Willing (Street) and Highway 90, and one in Pace as well."
Barrie Bamberg, who lives on Pike Street within the proposed district, also shared some thoughts.
"My family has lived there since 1951 when First Baptist (Church) built that house," Bamberg said. "We’ve just got rid of some really bad elements with drug selling on our block, so I’m worried about the violence aspect of what bringing more alcohol into the area would bring."
Theresa Messick addressed councilmen by name, asking if they would want to live next to a bar.
"We have children on Oak, Pine and Willing, all over the city," Messick said. "We want Milton to grow, too, but not like this."
Vernon Compton supported the district as a business-friendly move.
"I respect people who don’t agree with serving of alcohol but there are a lot of people who don’t abuse it at all," he said. "People abuse things but I don’t think we should penalize everyone in the community based on that."
"It’s not fair to business owners that I can drink at a bar on Highway 90 but (a business) has to serve food in this area," Councilman Alan Lowery said. "I have no problem with tweaking the map but in my opinion it should be fair to everybody."
"I am in support of Highway 90, the commercial frontage and downtown Willing Street," Mayor Wesley Meiss said. "I think it could serve a purpose, but I do understand the residential argument as well."