City Commission Approves Salina on Tap as Special Event

City Commission Approves Salina on Tap as Special Event

At the most recent City Commission meeting held on Monday, officials discussed a proposed ordinance centered around the approval of the Salina On Tap event as a designated special occasion. The primary focus of the deliberation was to authorize the consumption of alcoholic beverages within cordoned-off public areas during the event.

Background Context: In 2010, the Kansas legislature introduced an amendment to Section 41-719 of the Liquor Control Act (K.S.A. 41-719), which pertains to the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public spaces. This amendment brought about modifications to the prohibition of alcoholic beverage consumption on public streets and sidewalks. A crucial change enabled alcoholic beverage consumption at designated "special events" on public streets, alleys, roads, sidewalks, or highways closed to vehicular traffic, provided a temporary liquor permit was secured for such occasions. Prior to this alteration, temporary permits for outdoor beer and wine sales were solely permissible on private property. This shift, prompted by the amended K.S.A. 41-719, allowed alcohol consumption within barricaded public areas subject to approval by the local governing body.

Temporary permits, currently issued by the Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control, are restricted to four per year for venues without a drinking establishment license. However, a bill endorsed by the Kansas Legislature expanded this authority, allowing the Director of ABC to issue temporary permits for "special events" as well, contingent upon local governing body endorsement through an ordinance. The intricate regulations governing alcohol consumption on public property are predominantly dictated by state legislature, characterized by multifaceted rules and procedures applicable to distinct categories of public property.

In 2019, the term "special event" and its associated definition were omitted from the statute by the Kansas legislature. Formerly recognized as the Alcoholic Liquor Special Event Permit, this permit was renamed as the "Temporary Permit for a Street, Road, or Sidewalk Event." Temporary permit holders are now entitled to levy an entrance fee within the licensed area.

Under the 2010 legislation, boundaries demarcating the temporary permit area must be conspicuously identified through signage, posted maps, or equivalent means, clearly outlining areas where alcoholic beverages can be consumed. This statute also allows drinking establishments contiguous to or within the licensed premises of a special event to extend their licensed area to encompass the event premises.

The legislation establishes liability for licensees who vend alcoholic beverages at a special event for any breaches of alcohol-related laws. Importantly, the legislation prohibits the removal of alcoholic beverages from the confines of the special event area. The original statute barred possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages inside the special event area, except those sold by the temporary permit holder. However, the 2019 revision relaxed this stipulation, permitting the consumption of alcohol from external sources with the permission of the licensee.

For events like the Salina On Tap, where alcohol sales are a pivotal element, the event organizer or the designated alcohol vendor must apply for a temporary permit for alcohol sales from the State's Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control at least two weeks before the event. This application should encompass details such as the closed streets, event geography, alcohol providers, event hours, and a basic site security plan endorsed by the license holder.

Participation of drinking establishments in special events mandates their location within, adjacent to, or abutting the designated serving area. Furthermore, these establishments should hold a valid alcohol-selling license and receive permission from the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control to vend alcohol within the event's temporal and spatial boundaries.

Historical Framework: In August 2012, the City Commission enacted Ordinance No. 12-10652, establishing provisions for the issuance of special event temporary permits, enabling the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on public streets, alleys, roads, or adjoining sidewalks. Concurrently, Resolution No. 12-6931 was adopted, offering guidelines for scrutinizing applications seeking approval for special events featuring alcoholic beverage sale and/or consumption on public streets, alleys, roads, adjoining sidewalks, or city-owned property. This resolution mandated a referral process to Salina Downtown Inc. (SDI) for advisory recommendations concerning events in Business Improvement District No.1.

Salina On Tap Event: Meridian Media, organizers of the well-established Salina On Tap event, submitted applications for a Special Event Permit, an Alcoholic Beverage Special Event Retailer's Permit, and an Amplified Sound Permit for an event scheduled on Saturday, October 14, 2023. City Commission endorsement is required solely for the Special Event Retailer's Permit, while the remaining aspects can be administratively approved by City staff. This event, previously held at the Tony's Pizza Events Center, aims to transition outdoors to downtown Salina to enhance public awareness.

The Salina On Tap event on October 14, 2023, is slated to encompass street closure and setup from 4:00 p.m., followed by alcoholic beverage service from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The teardown phase is anticipated from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The event, stationed in the 100 block of South Santa Fe Avenue and the 100 block of North Santa Fe Avenue, is set to close Santa Fe Avenue between Ash Street and Walnut Street. Cross traffic will be obstructed by barricades placed at 5th and Iron, as well as 7th and Iron.

An integral facet of the review process involved submitting the application to Salina Downtown Inc. (SDI) for consultation and commentary, as prescribed by Resolution 12-6931. SDI's input indicated no objections to the event date or location, with Leslie Bishop from SDI expressing support for the event during the 4:00 - 7:00 pm timeframe. Notably, the initial plan was scheduled for 1:00-4:00 pm.

Meridian Media urges the Governing Body to ratify an ordinance designating the Salina On Tap event on October 14, 2023, as a qualifying special event, thereby granting authorization for the sale, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages within the barricaded public area at the event.

Importantly, the boundaries of the special event will be prominently marked using signage, posted maps, or other appropriate means to indicate the permissible zone for alcoholic beverage possession and consumption.

Fiscal Implications: The endorsement of the ordinance will not exert any fiscal impact on the City, aside from the provision of street barricades.

The ordinance was approved 5-0.

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