City Council voted 6-1 Monday night to approve the conditional use of alcohol in Centerville’s Stubbs Park.
Councilman John Palcher was the “no” vote but offered no explanation for his opposition.
The new ordinance goes into effect immediately, but does come with the caveat that alcohol sales must be approved by the city for events in the park.
“We’re doing everything we can to enhance the experience at Stubbs Park for our residents in Centerville and any of our neighbors who visit. Stubbs Park is a tremendous community amenity and, at times, an underused one,” said City Manager Wayne Davis.
He said it is also a great economic opportunity to help a non-profit organization in need.
Municipal Attorney Scott Liberman explained to council that the legislation is not sanctioning the sale and use of alcohol at any other park in Centerville.
“This allows for the sale and drinking of alcohol in Stubbs Park only,” he said. “All of the other parks will remain alcohol free. And again, it is only for an event that is approved by the city manager.”
Councilman Mark Engert discussed whether the approved legislation would limit where the alcohol could be sold in the park and where it would be allowed to be consumed in the park.
“Is there going to be a roped off area like a beer garden if we pass this tonight, or would it be permitted throughout the entire park?” Engert asked.
He added he has talked with the police department about alcohol sales in the park and was told there would not be an issue with safety.
He said that he talked with a couple of Centerville police officers about the issue and one of them, John Davis, has experience with Springboro’s Concert in the Park series that serves beer and wine to patrons.
“He said that they have absolutely no problems at all,” Engert said. “He is very confident that people here in Centerville would not have any problems with the alcohol.”
Liberman said the specifics have not been worked out yet, but, “My understanding is that the intent it is going to be for programming at the amphitheater only. So there would be a limitation to that area.”
He added that a city sponsored or private event would be eligible to apply for alcohol use in Stubbs Park, but there are still regulations attached to the sale or consumption of alcohol.
Mayor Brooks Compton said that the legislation has been under discussion and it will add a needed amenity for the park.
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