Troy DORA expansion viewed favorably, but small changes likely before approval

City Council expected to vote on amended application at Feb. 6 meeting

TROY — An application to expand the boundaries and hours of Troy’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA, was sent back to city administrators for modifications following a review by Troy City Council this week.

The council met as a committee of a whole to go over the proposal following a presentation by Salome Hekate, city management analyst.

Council, in general, spoke in favor of the proposal but agreed to disapprove the application and ask for two modifications. The modifications were requested by the Miami County commissioners and the First United Methodist Church.

The commissioners asked for inclusion of the parking lot just east of the Safety Building downtown only for special events and only with commission approval, while the church asked for removal of the area on the south side of Franklin Street in front of First Place, a center owned by the church.

With its disapproval of the application, council will be asked at its next meeting, Tuesday Jan. 17, to indefinitely postpone the proposed DORA ordinance. An amended application will be filed for the Feb. 6 council meeting.

Among the proposed changes to the rules of operation are making DORA service hours 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, versus the current noon to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

State law allows a DORA where adults 21 years and older can possess or consume alcohol in public with certain restrictions.

The proposed change in hours is intended to address confusion about when DORA was or wasn’t in effect, Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director, said.

“Several businesses indicated that Sunday would be greatly desired, as they got feedback from folks. With the minimal issues throughout the past year and the desire to have as easy a DORA to understand and remember as possible, just making it seven days seems the best course of action,” he said.

Other proposals include expanding the DORA boundary map from 20.24 acres that includes the downtown area to 193.44 acres. The expansion would be an 11.56-acre permanent district expansion and 161.64-acre temporary boundary expansion for approved events.

The proposal contains provisions that council can change the DORA days, hours and boundaries at any time. Council also would have the ability to activate temporary DORA areas for requested events and temporarily suspend DORA operations to accommodate permitting of special evens within the DORA boundaries.

Another proposed change is allowing use of DORA stickers on cups of 20 ounces or less instead of requiring special DORA cups that businesses participating in the program had to keep on hand for sales.

The existing DORA was approved by city council in March 2021 on a second submission by city administrators. A group of residents collected enough signatures to place a referendum of the council vote on the November 2021 ballot. The council decision was upheld by voters, and the city DORA began operations in 2022.

The district today has 13 qualified permit holders to sell under DORA rules and two pending permits, according to the proposal.

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