Much has changed since Halpern Enterprises first made plans to develop Belmont Hills into a mixed-use center in 2008 and not just economic conditions. There’s a new elementary school being constructed on a portion of the site and this had some Smyrnans questioning whether businesses would be able to pour alcohol on the premises once the development is complete. But Smyrna’s Community Development Director Ken Suddreth said this won’t be a problem.
In most cases, a business isn’t permitted to pour alcohol within 600 feet of a church or school, Suddreth said. However, because Belmont Hills is zoned as a mixed-use development that requirement is reduced to 100 feet.
“A mixed use by its very nature encourages the combination of different types of uses,” he said. “So it just has different requirements. Belmont is a mixed use. It’s not the 600 feet that people may be used to. It’s 100 feet.”
This exemption is written into Smyrna’s Code of Ordinance concerning alcoholic beverages:
Sec. 6-118. - Distance from certain locations.
(a) It is the policy of the city that, in keeping with the purposes of this article, any premises proposed for license for the sale of alcoholic beverages shall be at a suitable distance from a school, church, park, public building, library, and residence.
(b) A suitable distance shall be as follows:
(6) Within the area defined as Smyrna Central Downtown or within property zoned to a mixed use zoning category, a license for the pouring of distilled spirits or for pouring wine and malt beverages, it shall be 100 feet from a school, and 100 feet from a church, and no distance requirement from a residence, park, public building or library.
Halpern Enterprises recently submitted a rezoning application to the city. A public hearing for this request is scheduled for the Planning and Zoning Board meeting Monday, Sept. 10 at Smyrna City Hall.