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Columbiana looks to Warren for entertainment district model

May 13,2017 14:11

According to various news reports, Warren council started the process for its entertainment district in 2013 and just recently began the process to implement an open container law, which would allow people to carry alcoholic beverages within that district.and more »



May 13, 2017

KATIE WHITE

COLUMBIANA — A member of council would like to see the city follow Warren’s lead for the creation of an entertainment district.

Councilman Skip Liston told the planning commission this week that he believes an entertainment district is something the city should consider to “get some excitement downtown.”
He said a district would allow people to walk among various events in the downtown area and “open carry,” meaning carrying alcoholic beverages.
He said he wasn’t sure if the idea should start with the planning commission or council.
Mayor and commission member Bryan Blakeman said he believed it could start either place.
“I personally think it’s a great idea. To me, it’s a natural fit for what is going on,” he said.
According to various news reports, Warren council started the process for its entertainment district in 2013 and just recently began the process to implement an open container law, which would allow people to carry alcoholic beverages within that district.
According to Ohio law, an entertainment district consists of a combination of entertainment, retail, educational, sporting, social, cultural or arts establishments within close proximity to one another.
To create a district, property owners wishing to be a part of the district must file an application seeking the designation with the mayor, who must then present the application and his recommendations to council, which will then be asked to pass an ordinance or resolution creating the district.
Gov. John Kasich signed a law in 2015 that allowed for what the Columbus Dispatch described as “open refreshment areas.”
At that time only those cities with a population of at least 35,000 could consider creating a district. The legislation did specify, however, that cities with a population under 35,000 could create one district beginning this year, the Dispatch reported back in 2015.
The newspaper said the idea is to allow for entertainment districts similar to Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn.
White is a reporter for the Lisbon Morning Journal.

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