Delaware City Council on Monday heard the first reading of an ordinance seeking to create a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area in the downtown district.
Assistant City Manager Jackie Walker said city officials have gone through a “long process of trying to figure out how to enact it” after the state earlier this year added provisions to the Ohio Revised Code allowing for municipalities with populations of less than 35,000 to establish a DORA.
“(The state) is very regulated about who can have it and how you go about the process,” she said.
To get the ball rolling, Walker presented to council the DORA application as prepared by City Manager R. Thomas Homan.
While state law prohibits individuals from carrying around in public an open container of an alcoholic beverage, Walker said the proposed DORA will allow people who are visiting the downtown to be able to carry wine or beer in a specially marked cup — available from participating drinking establishments — throughout the DORA as they patronize downtown shops and restaurants that permit the cups to be brought inside.
As for the specifics of the DORA, an executive summary provided to council states it would only be allowed during a “properly permitted special event” and “alcohol services must take place in the liquor permit holder’s establishment.”
The DORA application notes the special events eligible for consideration include, but are not limited to, the New Moon Half Marathon in May and the Classic Car Show in July.
As for the businesses within the proposed DORA that would be eligible to participate, the application states 21 qualified permit holders have been identified to date.
In response to the presentation of the application, several council members said the majority of calls they have received to date have been from individuals under the impression the DORA would be in place every weekend, however, council has elected to only implement it during special events in which prior permission has been granted.
If approved, the boundaries of the DORA would include Sandusky Street from Spring Street to Central Avenue and on William and Winter streets from Franklin and Union streets.
To ensure the DORA isn’t contiguous to the Ohio Wesleyan University campus, Walker said, the boundary on the west side of South Sandusky Street will terminate on the north side of Spring Street.
Residents and downtown business owners will have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed DORA application during a public hearing set for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 9 in council chambers.
In other business:
• Council heard the first reading of an ordinance seeking to amend the employment agreement with the city manager.
The agreement calls for Homan’s salary to increase from an hourly rate of $66.22 to $68.20 (3 percent raise). Homan has served in his current role since 1999.
If approved, the agreement would be retroactive to Feb. 2, 2017.
• Council suspended the three-readings rule and passed on its first reading an ordinance determining the amendment to a petition for expansion of the Northern New Community Authority complies with the requirements of section 349.03 of the ORC and to fix a date and place for a public hearing on the amendment to petition for expansion.
According to city records, the North NCA Board is seeking to amend the original NCA (consists of the Glenwood Commons Shopping Center on Sunbury Road) to include the developing apartments (Quail Pass Apartments) located directly behind the shopping center that is home to various businesses including Meijer and Kohl’s.
A public hearing on the amendment to petition to expand the Northern NCA will be held at 7:20 p.m. on Oct. 23 in council chambers.
• Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle read a proclamation recognizing Dylan Jebode, a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 318, for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America’s Boy Scouting Program.
Joshua Keeran can be reached by email or at 740-413-0904.