Board clarifies distance rules on beer sales

The Oakland Board of Mayor and Aldermen has voted unanimously to clarify the distance that must be maintained between beer sales and residences in the town.
Board members took the action during their Dec. 20, 2012 regular monthly meeting.
City Planner Chris Pate recalled that, during the previous board’s discussion of a beer permit application, one of the aldermen noticed that the required distance from a residence was listed on the application form but not included in the Beer Ordinance. The alderman wondered whether the distance could be specified in the ordinance.
Pate found a “model” beer ordinance prepared by The University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Services that does list a distance requirement from residences. So, he prepared a memorandum for the board that outlines two options.
The first one is to add the term “residence” throughout the town’s Beer Ordinance and to keep the same measurement. That is from “front door to front door” of churches, schools and other facilities listed in the ordinance.
The second option, which the alderman suggested at another board meeting, is to set the measurement from “property line to property line.”
“But most of the shopping centers on Highway 64 are adjacent to residential properties and share the line,” Pate noted. “So, that would bring all of your existing beer sales operations out of compliance and very much hamper any future operations in your existing shopping centers.”
Alderman Karl Chambless offered a motion to approve the first option, and Alderman Chris Goodman seconded it. Pate said he would put that in the form of an ordinance, which is expected to have its first reading at tomorrow night’s board meeting.
Because the sale of beer to minors is prohibited, Alderman Billy Ray Morris recommended that the beer permit application form specify “how old a minor is.”
While acknowledging that he did not propose a change to the application form, Pate said that would be “another correction” the board could make.
Although he promised to consult City Attorney Chris Patterson if it needs “legal clarification,” Pate called it “pretty common knowledge” that anyone younger than 21 years of age is prohibited from purchasing beer.