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June 20, 2019 City Council Regular Meeting
47. Motion to Amend Part 6, Chapter 1, Article H of the 2017 Alcohol Beverage Ordinance of the City of Savannah Code
Strategic Priority
Public Safety

The Mayor and Aldermen requested staff propose revisions to the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance to address the continued issuance of licenses to sell alcoholic beverages within certain portions of the Fifth and First Aldermanic Districts.  As part of this process, staff analyzed data, explored best practices, conducted a community survey with more than 1,000 respondents, and convened four public meetings (February 28, 2019 and April 18, 2019) to develop the following revisions: 

  • Defines “bouncer” to provide consistency with O.C.G.A. 3-3-24.1 which requires a bouncer be 21 year and clarify a doorman is also considered a bouncer;
  • Adds a definition for convenience store under Class E license to refer to a retail establishment up to 5,000 square feet of floor area that:
    • Primarily sells food products, beverages, candy, tobacco items, newspapers and magazines, limited personal, household and car care items as well as malt beverages or wine in unbroken package, not for consumption on premises, and that may or may not include limited on-site food preparation; and
    • Derives from such retail sale of malt beverages or wine in unbroken packages less than 25% of its total annual gross sales;
    • Defines "natural person" within the definition of person;
  • Adds two subclasses under License E classification, Ancillary Retail Package Store, to include Ancillary Retail Package Store=CS1 and Convenience Store=CS2; with these sub-classifications prohibit Convenience Store=CS2-2 and CS2-3 from selling malt beverages or wine with any other license classes;
  • Removes “C2 and D2 as incompatible uses” under malt beverages for the License D classification, Retail Package Store (off-premises consumption);
  • For License F Samples, makes the selling of distilled spirits be incompatible with all but Class B, Manufacturer of distilled spirits;
  • Includes “natural” person in the definition of licensee;
  • Clarifies definition of manager to include “responsible party” and that the designation of a natural person as a manager shall not disqualify such person from also possessing an alcoholic beverage license for the subject premises; 
  • Requires all licensee classes that operate or intend to operate on-premises or off-premises alcohol to submit a written public safety plan when applying for an alcohol license;
  • Requires Class A licensees submit public safety plans to the Savannah Police Department at the time an application for a temporary event permit is submitted;
  • Eliminates the ability to transfer alcohol beverage licenses and add the following language regarding notification to the Department of Revenue:
    • In the event of the manager/responsible party’s death, disability, separation from the business or any other disqualifying occurrence, the licensee must provide the Director of Revenue with 10 calendar days’ written notice of such event together with identification of the manager/responsible party’s replacement;
    • In the event of the death or sudden disability of a licensee, the manager/responsible party must provide the Director of Revenue with 10 calendar days’ written notice of such event.  The establishment’s license will remain valid for no more than 45 days following the death or sudden disability of the licensee so as to furnish the establishment with adequate time to apply for and obtain an alcoholic beverage license in the name of a successor licensee pursuant to the terms and conditions of this Article.  If a new license is not applied for and issued within the 45-day grace period, the license will become null and void; and
    • In the event of the licensee’s separation from the business or any other disqualifying occurrence, no later than 10 calendar days of such event the licensee shall surrender the license to the Director of Revenue;
    • Where timely notification is not made, a licensee may be subject to general penalty as outlined in Sec. 1-1013 not to exceed $1,000.00; and
  • Every Class D and E licensee must ensure that all of its employees complete alcohol awareness training as specified by the city manager.
  • Move regulations for temporary alcohol permits, previously located in the Revenue Ordinance, to the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance, including the following provisions:
    • Temporary alcohol permitted events are limited to only private events that are closed to the public or non-profit sponsored events.
      • Private events may not include an actual or implied monetary exchange for alcohol 
      • Non-profit events may be open to the public and may include alcohol sales, but must submit documentation that 80% of net proceeds benefit the non-profit and must include signage acknowledging the non-profit sponsor
    • ​​​​​​​Requires the licensee or responsible party to remain on the event premises
    • Specifies that events held in City parks and squares may not include the sale of distilled spirits, as specified in the City's Park and Square Guidelines
    • Requires temporary events be held in locations appropriate for an alcoholic beverage license
    • Limits temporary events to three days​​​​​​​
    • Does not limit the number of permits available by person or location


Ashley Simpson, Revenue Director Bridget Lidy, Director of Planning and Urban Design
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Agenda Plus