City Commission Reviews & Approves Ordinance Amendments for Alcohol Consumption on Public Property

During a recent City Commission Meeting, the Commissioners deliberated on Ordinance 23-11183, a proposed update to regulations governing the consumption of alcoholic beverages on public property in the City of Salina. The ordinance aims to refine and specify the locations where alcoholic beverages may be consumed, while also imposing restrictions on open containers in the same public areas.

The discussions surrounding Ordinance 23-11183 were initiated on September 11, 2023, during a Salina City Commission meeting focused on alcohol restrictions for public spaces. At that time, the Commission provided guidance, instructing staff to treat all types of alcoholic beverages uniformly when considering future restrictions. Consequently, the forthcoming regulations would apply equally to all alcoholic beverages, irrespective of their alcohol content. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board contributed input on the alcoholic beverage chart within the ordinance, leading to its approval for park facilities in the City of Salina.

Alcohol Restrictions by Location:
To provide clear guidelines on the permissibility of alcoholic beverages on public property, the current City of Salina Code required updating. A collaborative effort involving the City Prosecutor, Parks and Recreation, City of Salina Police, and other stakeholders resulted in a comprehensive update to the City Code. The amendment consolidates all classifications of alcoholic beverages, including alcoholic liquor, cereal malt beverages, and beer, under the umbrella term "Alcoholic Beverages." This simplification aids in enforcement and enhances clarity for the public.

The updated Code restricts open containers of alcoholic beverages on sidewalks and public property. A chart, incorporated into the ordinance, delineates where alcoholic beverages and open containers are allowed on public property. Notably, the City Commission retains the authority to permit alcoholic beverages on any city-owned public property through the issuance of a special use permit. The ordinance classifies public property into three categories: "Permitted," "Special Use Permit," and "Prohibited," signifying where alcoholic beverages are allowed, allowed with a special use permit, and strictly prohibited, respectively.

Open Containers:
In addition to restricting alcohol consumption on several public properties, the revised ordinance imposes limitations on open containers, permitting them only at "permitted" sites. Public streets, alleys, roads, sidewalks, and highways within the City of Salina are designated as locations where open containers are not allowed.

Glass Containers:
While there are currently no restrictions on glass containers on public property in Salina, the updated ordinance imposes restrictions on their use for alcoholic beverages, even in locations where alcoholic beverages are permitted. This restriction applies to both general "Permitted" locations and those serving alcoholic beverages under a "Special Use Permit."

Fiscal Note:
The City of Salina anticipates no direct fiscal impact as a result of the approved ordinance.

The motion to approve Ordinance 23-11183 on its first reading was unanimously approved by a 5-0 vote.

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