Centerville aims to create outdoor drinking area

CENTERVILLE — Centerville is proposing to create an outdoor drinking area in the commercial and parkland area of a major mixed-use development.

The 32-acre designated outdoor refreshment area, or DORA, would be located at Cornerstone of Centerville at the intersection of Feedwire Road and Wilmington Pike, which features an assortment of retail, restaurant, office and residential uses.

Such an area “will enhance City values of economic growth and community by creating a unique experience for customers and residents, capitalizing on new park space, and improving business development,” said Joey O’Brien, interim economic development administrator/assistant city planner, in a Nov. 4 letter to City Manager Wayne Davis.

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Credit: Jim Noelker

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DORAs launched in Ohio in 2015 as an economic development tool and a way to garner exposure for communities and businesses alike in places like Cincinnati, Dayton, Fairborn, Hamilton, Lebanon, Mason, Miamisburg, Miami Twp., Middletown, Springboro and Springfield, for example.

They allow businesses with proper liquor licenses to sell alcoholic beverages in designated plastic cups. Those beverages can be taken off premise and consumed within the DORA’s boundary, which is indicated by signage.

The proposed outdoor drinking area would, if approved by council, operate from 10 a.m. to midnight daily.

Centerville “values economic growth and creating a thriving place to live, work, learn, and play,” O’Brien said. “A DORA is an innovative policy that reflects these values and will create a unique experience for businesses and residents.”

The city’s staff solicited feedback from Cornerstone’s developer, Oberer Companies, and all businesses within the development and “at this time staff has received no negative feedback, and many businesses are eager to participate,” he said.

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Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Davis has submitted to city council an application that ensures public health and safety are maintained within the outdoor drinking area, city officials said.

Council is expected to consider the DORA for final approval at a public hearing during its Dec. 19 meeting, O’Brien said.

If approved, it could be operational by this coming spring, he said.

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