Springboro council votes to extend its DORA district

Upon state approval, the outdoor drinking area will include both sides of Main Street, south of Ohio 73

Springboro gave its final approval to extend its Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area from Wright Station to its historic downtown area.

City Council unanimously approved the ordinance, which had its third reading at Thursday’s meeting. It will expand the DORA district to both sides of Main Street south of Ohio 73, to just south of Mill Street/Lower Springboro Road.

City Manager Chris Pozzuto said it could take another 30 to 45 days before the new DORA can actually operate because it needs final approval from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.

Assistant City Manager Greg Shackleford said the expansion will allow other liquor permit holders on South Main Street to participate in the DORA program, which allows people to drink alcoholic beverages while walking around outside the establishments.

The beverages are sold in special cups obtained through the city and are not subject to open container laws. Local businesses in a DORA district can self-identify if they are part of the DORA program and whether customers with DORA cups can enter stores or not.

Shackleford said there have been no problems as a result of creating Springboro’s DORA district. Last month, the Springboro Area Chamber of Commerce expressed support of the ordinance. One resident was against the ordinance, citing safety issues crossing Ohio 73 to access South Main Street.

Springboro enacted its DORA ordinance in April 2020, but it did not go into effect until Warped Wing at Wright Station obtained its liquor permit from the state and opened in August 2020, Shackleford said. He said Warped Wing is responsible for 60% of the DORA sales.

In December 2015, downtown Middletown’s DORA district was the first authorized by the state of Ohio. Since then, Middletown officials said other Ohio cities have created their own DORA districts or have contacted Middletown officials for information and advice periodically.

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