Previous Item Print Next Item

June 7, 2018, City Council Regular Meeting
8. Motion to Revise the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance
Strategic Priority
Good Government

In 2017, the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance was implemented. During the rollout, it was determined a revision to Section 6-1215 was needed to address concerns from the business community associated with the administrative process and need for server permits, referred to as bar cards. In April 2017, City Council made the decision to not enforce this provision of the ordinance and allow the City to work with stakeholders to modify the bar card requirements.

Since that time, eight public meetings were held (August 23, 2017; September 6, 2017; March 7, 2018; and April 20, 2018), and an online survey was launched to obtain additional feedback from the community. The information gathered from this process was vetted with Savannah Police, Revenue and Planning and Urban Design departments as well as the City Attorney's Office resulting in the following changes:

  • Require Class A, C and H licensees to have managers, servers, bartenders, doorpersons, or any other employee with the responsibility for serving, mixing or dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption to secure a background check from an entity certified with the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) no later than 14 days after commencement of employment;
  • Require the same employees to complete server training no later than 14 days after commencement of his/her employment;
  • Update the background check and server training every two years from the date of issuance;
  • Require the following documents be maintained on the licensed premises: proof of a background check and completion of server training issued by the course-provider;
  • Add event venue to the distance exceptions;
  • Include event venue as a license class;
  • Establish an administrative hearing officer position and process to handle licensing and permitting issues to include having City Council consider any appeals, suspensions or revocations;
  • Add language allowing the City to deny, suspend, revoke or refuse to renew any alcoholic beverage license when the applicant, manager or any other person with a financial interest in the establishment has voluntarily surrendered an alcoholic beverage license issued by the City within the five-year period immediately preceding the application date; and
  • Revise “Savannah-Chatham Police Department” to “Savannah Police Department.”


Bridget Lidy, Planning & Urban Design Director
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Alcohol Ordinance online survey results.pdf
Agenda Plus