Macon-Bibb Commissioner proposes change to the county’s alcohol ordinance
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One Macon-Bibb County Commissioner is proposing a big change before the holidays.
We pass by them all the time — plazas and shopping centers.
The sites can be home to many types of businesses from restaurants to salons, even places of worship.
“I applaud their willingness to do that, but it does put a burden on others who are in that particular shopping center,” District 1 Commissioner Gary Bechtel said.
The “others” Commissioner bechtel is talking about are store owners who sell alcohol.
The Current Macon-Bibb code calls for alcohol retailers to be at least 300-feet away from churches, schools, and libraries.
Bechtel says plazas around the county are becoming homes to new churches. The problem is that businesses that sell alcohol are also in these plazas. He’s trying to fix it.
Georgia law doesn’t include churches or libraries. Bechtel says Macon-Bibb has a strict policy.
“We did some research and found out that we were more stringent than the state law,” Bechtel said.
He’s proposing removing churches from that list…
“Given those circumstances, this is an effort to bring us, to not make us more lax than the state law, but simply bring us in line with the state law,” Bechtel said.
Bechtel adds as more and more worship centers move into plazas, he wants to be able to accommodate everyone.
“If they’ve got their license, then they’ve got their license. It is a different calculation for engineering and things going forward as it relates to trying to make certain that the distances are recognized,” he said.