Hudson City Council hosting hearing outdoor drinking

Residents may email comments to clerk or request to participate in virtual meeting

PHIL KEREN Reporter

HUDSON — Residents will have a chance to share their thoughts about designating an area downtown where people can consume alcohol outdoors.

City Council is reviewing a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) proposal. The DORA program would allow patrons to purchase alcoholic beverages at existing restaurants in a designated district and drink them while walking through the district. Legislation to set up the DORA was given a first reading by council on June 2. The legislation will have a second reading on June 16.

Council will also host a virtual public hearing on June 16 at 7:30 p.m. to receive residents’ comments about the legislation. Anyone wishing to participate in the public hearing may do so by:

1. emailing comments to CouncilComments@hudson.oh.us by 4:30 p.m. on June 16 and comments will be read into the record; or

2. requesting to speak live by contacting the Clerk of Council at the same email address by 3:30 p.m. on June 16, and information will be provided for joining the virtual public hearing.

The public hearing can be viewed on June 16 starting at 7:30 p.m. on the city’s website at www.hudson.oh.us/watchmeetings.

After the public hearing, council will discuss the issue at its workshop on June 23. The legislation would receive a third reading at the July 7 meeting, which is when council could vote to form the DORA.

If the legislation is approved, the city would apply to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control which would then issue permits to all liquor permit holders located in the DORA. There are 10 current liquor permit holders and an 11th business with a pending permit in the proposed DORA. The businesses are located on Main Street, Park Lane, First Street, Owen Brown Street, and Village Way. City spokesperson Jody Roberts said these businesses can choose whether or not they participate in the DORA.

The potential DORA is another city initiative designed to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a separate move, Council on June 2 approved legislation allowing downtown restaurants to apply for a license agreement that would allow outdoor patio dining on public rights of way. Restaurants on Main Street and within First and Main now will be able to offer outdoor seating as long as the location of the outdoor dining meets the criteria laid out in the legislation.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.