Proposed changes to Victor alcohol ordinances spark debate
Updated On: Mar 13 2014 01:00:37 AM CDT
The Victor City Council took public opinion and discussed the adjustment of two city alcohol ordinances at two of its city parks.
The proposed repeal of Title 3-2A and Title 3-2B would mean that permits for the sale of alcohol in Victor City Park and Pioneer Park would be easier attained for events. Right now, approval from the State of Idaho, Teton County and Victor City Council is required. With the repeal, designated city officials would approve permits on the city's behalf, after state and county approval.
The proposed amendment to 4-1-2B would allow individuals of legal drinking age to possess unsealed, open containers of alcohol in Victor City Park (in locations 200 feet or further from Victor Elementary School) and Pioneer Park. Whereas, now, drinking alcohol is illegal in both parks, city and public property.
The proposed changes were tabled at a City Council meeting Feb. 26, so the city could gather public input. A survey was made available on Victor's website and Facebook page.
"That survey, as of this morning, had 467 responses to it," said Mayor Zachary Smith.
Smith said the proposed changes are aimed at responsible consumption.
"For the average citizen to be able to enjoy a beer with friends in the park at a barbecue or picnic," said Smith.
Fletcher White, a business owner who is a part of the Victor Business Council, supports both changes. He said since the permits for the sale of alcohol would still need approval from the state, county and city, less time is being wasted by the City Council.
"It was limiting to events happening here," said White. "They would still come get a permit, but they would be able to get it from a number of people at the city level."
As for the amendment to 4-1-2B, allowing open containers, White said he doesn't see what the fuss is about.
"Our parks are not going to breed child abuse, and drunken disorderly conduct by having an open container law," said White. "We're a very civilized county right now, people are very respectful of others."
Janine Jolley, on the other hand, is concerned. Her family lives right near Pioneer Park, and she wants to keep drunks away from it.
"When you provide a place for them to come, they'll come," said Jolley. "Then, they'll step further across the lines we've drawn."
Jolley fears the worst - that her children could be in danger, if the proposals are approved.
"Someone will come over here when my kids are playing at the park, and they'll have an open container and sit and watch my kids, or worse," said Jolley.
At Grand Teton Brewery, one of two breweries in Victor, owner Steve Furbacher understands where both sides are coming from.
"We're very committed to responsible consumption of alcohol, and it doesn't do a business like ours any good to have people behave inappropriately," said Furbacher.
Those interested in sharing their opinion with Victor's City Council can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, drop off a written letter at Victor City Hall or mail a letter addressed to:
Victor City Council
P.O. Box 122
Victor, ID 83455
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