Miamisburg OKs outdoor drinking area but with fewer days and hours

The DORA goes into effect next month within a 40-acre area.

An outdoor drinking area is slated to go into effect this summer in Miamisburg but with fewer days and hours than originally proposed.

Hours for the new Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area will be 4 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays, noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 4 to 9 p.m. Sundays once they go into effect next month. Boundaries of the downtown district will be Ferry Street to the north, Second Street to the east, most of Miami Avenue to the west and just south of Linden Avenue with a small portion continuing further south past Lock Street,

The slimmed down version of the plan differs from the one proposed by the Miamisburg Merchants Association following more than two years of research into other drinking areas across the state. That organization had suggested the outdoor drinking area function from 5 to 11 p.m. Monday to Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

But those days and hours ran up again concerns from area residents during mandatory public hearings during March and April, with some saying they feared a drinking area would negatively impact the community.

Miamisburg City Council met Monday evening for a special work session to iron out details of the area, including reducing outdoor drinking days and hours so they would not conflict with Sunday church services and post-service gatherings.

“I think council’s goal is to really feel like they’re accommodating the citizens who want the DORA and the citizens who may be opposed to it,” Collins said. “They really are trying to make sure the DORA is operated in a safe manner, but also within parameters that do help downtown businesses, that do want to increase foot traffic.”

Council approved two ordinances by a 5-to-2 margin Tuesday at its regularly scheduled meeting, with one ordinance creating the 40-acre outdoor drinking area and establishing its boundaries, and the other establishing rules and requirements needed to ensure health, safety and welfare within the area.

The new district goes into effect June 4 and, once it is approved by state authorities, could be operational by mid- to late June, Collins said.

“I think it’s going to a great concept, great for Miamisburg and we’re going to see no issues from this,” she said. “I visit many of them myself and this a big undertaking we’re making right now, but I think in six months we’re going to say we made a whole lot of discussion over nothing.”

Staff has committed to forming a review committee consisting of a city council member, a Miamisburg’s parks and recreation department member, the city’s community development director and two or three private citizens, Collins said.

“That review committee, I am confident, will do its due diligence to make sure DORA goes the way we all expect it to do,” she said. “I think we expect, once it starts, to have a 90-day review from businesses and residents on how it’s going.”

Hours and days can be altered or added by a council ordinance. Changes to the drinking area’s boundaries would require a “whole bigger process,” Collins said.

Those who are within the outdoor drinking area boundaries but do not wish to participate in it can be excluded via signage without the need for removal from the drinking district map, she said.

Signage is paid for via the Miamisburg Merchants Association and installed by the city, Collins said.

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