Commissioner balks at proposed alcohol beverage law change

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Dothan (WTVY)-- Dothan commissioners will consider revamping the city's alcohol laws, but only after changes are likely made to the plan presented to them Tuesday.

Dothan city commissioner Beth Kenward listens to a proposal that would make changes to city alcohol laws. Photo from December 4, 2018

Backlash from the commission centers on part of the proposal that would reduce the distance---from 600 feet to 200 feet---required between places that sell alcohol and churches.

“I think it's appropriate that we be at least 600 feet away because that it part of our (Dothan) culture,” Commissioner Beth Kenward said.
The distance requirement also includes schools and public parks and, under the proposed plan, licensed daycares would also be protected.

However, the ordinance would remove distance restrictions for shopping centers and strip malls where small, storefront churches locate.

“If a church located in the shopping center there couldn't be a business that sells beer and (alcohol),” Dothan Planning Director Todd McDonald said.

Both Kenward and McDonald say the proposal is a starting point will require additional discussion before a final version is voted on by commissioners. The vote won't happen until next year.