Savannah city council considers expanding to-go cup zone

Savannah city council considers expanding to-go cup zone
Savannah city council is considering expanding the to-go cup zone in the Victorian District. (Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A hot topic is on the Savannah city council’s meeting agenda for Thursday regarding to-go cups in the downtown area.

Council will approve or deny a request made by the Victorian Neighborhood Association to launch a 90-day trial to extend the zone where to-go cups are allowed in certain areas in the Victorian District.

Not only is this hot topic, but it’s also a very confusing one for some people. Many downtown businesses have been pushing for to-go cups to be allowed in certain zones for over a year now. They say it hurts their business when tourists think that they can grab a beer or a cup of wine and leave with it.

Now, if approved, the zones in the Victorian District where to-go cups would potentially be allowed would be from the centerline of Park Avenue between the centerline of Whitaker Street, the centerline of Drayton Street, and along Bull Street from the centerline of Park Avenue to the centerline of Anderson Lane.

For many people, those zones can get confusing, which is why business owners say that there needs to be signs that separate what businesses allow to-go cups and which ones do not.

One business owner says if people were allowed to-go cups at their business, it would be great because it would give them an opportunity to sell more products to people who are on the street and using the park.

"Lots and lots of people from the park come in to grab a quick bite and use the bathroom or maybe they just want to warm up on a cold day and they frequently will feel like, ‘oh, we should buy something if we're going to use this.’ But they might be in the middle of a picnic and all they want is a beer and they can get that beer from Kroger or anywhere else in the city and bring it to the park, but they can't buy it from the business who exist across the street," said Kristin Russell, the owner of The Sentient Bean cafe.

Following the 90-day pilot, city staff will submit an evaluation report and go from there.

If the motion is approved, it will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

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