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Lansing City Council Passes Resolution Allowing Outside Alcohol Consumption In Parts Of Town

Image of three women gathering outdoors for a drink.
Helena Lopes
The three social districts where drinking is allowed would be in REO Town, Old Town and Downtown Lansing.

Social districts could soon be a new scene for outdoor gatherings in Lansing.

The Lansing City Council on Monday adopted a resolution to create dedicated spaces in three Lansing districts where people could drink alcohol.

Those districts include REO Town, Old Town, and downtown, which includes Rotary Park and part of the River Trail.

City Council President Peter Spadafore said the social districts will help businesses that have struggled during the pandemic.

“So, it's a short-term win during the pandemic to allow businesses to continue to operate at greater capacities without violating the gathering orders.” 

Spadafore said the social districts will be funded by a combination of four groups around the city.

Those groups will oversee signage and design a unified logo for the common area where people can bring their drinks.

Spadafore said the social districts will follow the same consumption regulations as indoor bars and restaurants.

“This is no different than a bar or a restaurant in terms of consumption and over-serving and responsibility on the business owner to ensure that they're not serving folks more than they should be served," Spadafore said.

The Lansing Police Department will continue to monitor the roadways for public intoxication and consumption.

Licensed bars and restaurants that fall within the boundaries of the common area or designated social districts are eligible to apply.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission is now considering the Lansing City Council’s resolution.

The Jackson City Council on Tuesday approved a similar resolution.

Megan Schellong is the local host and producer for Morning Edition on WKAR.
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