Residents split on ordinance that would allow alcohol in Forsyth - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Residents split on ordinance that would allow alcohol in Forsyth Park


Forsyth Park is a place locals and tourists come to relax under the shades of Spanish Moss, play with their dogs and little ones, or simply walk around in peace to take in all of its beauty.

"It's like a major tourist attraction," said J. Foster.

An attraction that some locals fear will be ruined if city council passes a new ordinance that will expand the boundary for alcohol to-go cups to include Forsyth Park.

"It's a kid friendly zone, and I'd say no, leave it as it is," said Steve Martin.

But some disagree.

"I think bringing it to Forsyth makes sense because it's right downtown," said Foster.

"I'm kind of mixed on it," said Peter McMahon. "I'd prefer people to have as much freedom as possible yet everything has its bad sides and consequences."

The city has planned two public  presentations for Tuesday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Bryan Room of the Savannah Civic Center. Major revisions will be outlined, questions can be asked and feedback will be solicited.

Two follow-up drop-in sessions will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Bryan Room of the Civic Center. During these sessions, the public will have time to ask questions one-on-one with staff.

Invitations to these meetings were sent to all alcohol license holders. Further sessions will be held following these meetings before the proposal is submitted to City Council for action.

If the proposed ordinance passes, it will be the first revision since 1998.

It also includes:

  • The creation of distinct categories of license holders. Currently, a business seeking an alcohol license can only be considered either a bar or a restaurant.
  • Repeal of the hybrid license in favor of a late-night permit that would apply to all license holders after midnight
  • Repeal of bar cards in favor of mandatory training and record keeping on the part of license holders
  • Further protections to prevent minors from coming into contact with alcohol
  • Recognition of home brewers, caterers, and brew pubs
  • Security requirements for bars/clubs of a certain size on the weekends
  • Expansion of the boundary for to-go cups to include Forsyth Park
  • Provides for monetary penalties for offenses

For more on the revisions to the alcohol ordinance in downtown Savannah, click here.

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