Opposition of Public Overlay District sign now

We the undersigned wish to express our concern about the restrictive attitudes currently displayed toward our businesses and the residents who patronize them, as exemplified by the proposed addition of a Public Safety Overlay District to our Zoning Code. Of particular concern is the impact of such regulations on the revitalization efforts currently underway in Downtown Monroe.

Being taxpayers and residents of Monroe, as well as patrons of our local businesses, we are enthusiastic about the possibility of revitalization and economic expansion in the Downtown area. Restrictions placed upon alcohol sales and consumption will have an immediate and definite impact upon the value of properties located within any regulated district. Further, such restrictions will serve as a disincentive for growth and development at a time when growth and development is precisely what is needed in Downtown Monroe.

An integral part of the Downtown revitalization process, for which City Council has repeatedly expressed support, is creating an environment that will attract fine dining and other establishments that are likely to serve wine, beer, and mixed drinks. Such businesses will surely be interested in the opportunity, or discouraged by the lack thereof, to offer patrons service an indoor/outdoor setting. Restricting the consumption of alcohol and wine within a restaurants defined outdoor spaces is a restriction of the dining experience itself. Such prohibition deprives both the consumer and the business, and ultimately becomes a disincentive to future entrepreneurial interest in our city.

We are hereby expressing our opposition to the proposed Public Safety Overlay District and the regulations contained in therein. Further, we are not in support of any regulatory measures now or in the future that would restrict our businesses by banning the sale of alcohol either indoors or out.

*Note: at the Downtown Advisory Board meeting on 8/26/08 a newer version of the ordinance was presented that, in addition to banning outdoor alcohol consumption, would also prevent the opening of bars, pubs, nightclubs, taverns, or Billiards/pool halls regardless of if or where they serve alcohol.

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Irene BrooksBy:
SustainabilityIn:
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Monroe City Council

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