Council gives initial approval to alcohol in downtown restaurants
After 150 years of a liquor-less downtown, Baldwin City Council members took the first step Monday night to change that.
The council approved on first reading an ordinance amending the central business zoning classification to include "drinking establishments qualifying as restaurants" as a permitted use.
"The intent of this basically allows a full bar," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. "It's proposed that we allow a drinking establishment that is a restaurant."
Currently, only cereal malt beverages can be sold in downtown Baldwin City. Liquor by the drink is allowed elsewhere in town. When Baker University was founded 150 years ago, land around it was sold to finance the college. The deeds to that land contained provisions outlawing the sale or manufacture of alcohol. However, those provisions have never been enforced and Baker now allows alcohol on a limited basis on campus.
Dingman told the council that the planning commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal at 7 p.m. July 17 at the library. The council will make the decision following that hearing at its July 21 meeting.
The first reading passed 4-0. Council Member Doyle Jardon, who has voted against alcohol-related measures in the past, was absent.