Entertainment destination in future for Ashland? | News

ASHLAND Downtown Ashland’s alcohol footprint may be expanding for special events.

The board of city commissioners voted Thursday for Ashland to establish an entertainment destination in downtown and apply for an entertainment destination center license from the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Commissioner Amanda Clark asked for this, she said, which is a popular piece of legislation in the commonwealth, both Clark and City Attorney Jim Moore assured.

“It’s happening all over the state,” Clark said.

The Entertainment Destination Center would consist of the following: on Winchester Avenue from the east side of 13th Street to the west side of 18th Street; and on 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Streets from the south side of Greenup Avenue to the south side of Carter Avenue.

“Our restaurants will be able to participate in downtown events,” Clark said. “We kinda get non-profits out of the business of selling alcohol that way. We leave it to the people who are licensed to do that. I think this is a really good thing.”

If it goes through, the EDC would permit each alcohol-selling business within that geographical area to set up multiple, non-permanent locations for special events — the city ultimately defines what constitutes a “special event.”

Also, if all is finalized, patrons may leave the premises where they purchased alcohol and carry said beverage as long as they are within the confines of the EDC. Again, this is for special events — that doesn’t mean a concert at Paramount Arts Center. It’s up to the city to designate the events accordingly.

“We have restaurants that have licenses, and we have non-profits trying to have events in this district, and we’re having some trouble with the crossover,” Clark said. “This is a way to alleviate that.”

The city must, according to the legislation, “ensure that public streets are controlled in a manner that ensures public safety and pedestrian protection from vehicular traffic.”

Among other requirements: Patrons can’t carry alcoholic beverages outside the physical boundaries of the EDC; and all drinks removed from licensed premises shall be in cups previously approved by the City of Ashland Alcoholic Beverage Control Administrator.

Said Commissioner Josh Blanton to Clark: “Thank you for being on the forefront on this. This is a great example of how to make a positive change for our citizens.”

Clark thanked Moore for preparing the legislation for review.

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