AMENDMENT TO CITY OF SYCAMORE ALCOHOL ORDINANCE
AN AMENDMENT TO THE CURRENT CITY OF SYCAMORE, GEORGIA, ALCOHOL ORDINANCE 2009-2 BY ADDING ARTICLE VIII; TO PROVIDE FOR A LOCAL PERMIT FOR THE RETAIL SALE OF DISTILLED SPIRITS; TO ESTABLISH RULES AND REGULATIONS REGARDING THE RETAIL SALE OF DISTILLED SPIRITS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE IMPOSITION OF A LICENSE FEE; TO PROVIDE FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE; AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER PURPOSES AS SET FORTH HEREIN.
WHEREAS, engaging in the sale, manufacture, distillation or otherwise handling of alcoholic beverages is, under the Law of the State of Georgia, a privilege and not a right;
WHEREAS, the citizens of Turner County, Georgia, approved a county-wide referendum on November 8, 2022, to permit the retail sale of distilled spirits;
WHEREAS, current Georgia Law permits the City of Sycamore, Georgia, to create or amend an Ordinance within the City upon the approval of a majority of voters within the City approving the aforementioned County Referendum;
WHEREAS, the City of Sycamore, Georgia, desires to amend the City’s current Alcohol Ordinance as part of the Code of the City of Sycamore, Georgia, which regulates the sale, licensing, control, taxation and regulation of malt beverages and wine, to permit the retail sale of distilled spirits;
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Sycamore, Georgia, is authorized and empowered pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 3-3-2, et. seq., to regulate the retail sale of malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits within the geographical confines of said municipality; and,
WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Sycamore, Georgia, is empowered to establish a license for the retail sale of distilled spirits in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 4 of Title 3 of the Official Code of the State of Georgia;
WHEREAS, state law provides that the Council of the City of Sycamore, Georgia, is empowered to charge license fees for, as well as establish regulations pertaining to, the location of businesses which engage in the retail sale of distilled spirits;
AND WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Sycamore, Georgia, has determined that it is in the best interests of the City and the public if the City of Sycamore, Georgia, Alcohol Ordinance is amended to permit the retail sale and regulation of distilled spirits;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council of the City of Sycamore, Georgia, and it is now, therefore, hereby ordained by the authority of the City Charter and the above-referenced authority, as follows:
Sec. 6-301. Definitions.
- The following terms are hereby defined within the definition section of the City of Sycamore Retail Alcohol Ordinance, said terms to be placed in the Alcohol Ordinance according to their proper alphabetical order:
- Distilled Spirits means any alcohol beverages obtained by distillation or containing more than 21 percent alcohol.
- Retail Sale means the sale or offer of sale of any distilled spirits to any member of the public.
Sec. 6-302. Licenses, permits and fees.
- The annual license fee for retail sale of distilled spirits shall be $1,000.00 per year.
- The term of any license issued under the ordinance shall begin on July 1 of every year and conclude on June 30 of the year immediately following year.
Sec. 6-303. Application forms.
- All persons desiring to sell distilled spirits shall make application on the form provided by the Chief of Police for the City of Sycamore, Georgia (“Director”).
Sec. 6-304. Separate application and separate license for each location of sale.
- Separate applications must be made for each location where a licensee will offer distilled spirits for retail sale, unless such “separate location” is the subject of a special event license under the terms of this Ordinance which shall be handled as prescribed herein.
Sec. 6-305. Qualifications of licensee.
- No license for retail sale of distilled spirits shall be granted to any person who is not a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for two (2) permanent residences. The applicant must not be less than 21 years of age; and must be a resident of Turner County for not less than six (6) consecutive months before filing the application, unless the applicant specifically designates a Resident Agent of Turner County who has resided within the County for at least six (6) months before filing the application, which resident shall be responsible for any matter relating to the license.
- No person shall be granted a license for the retail sale of distilled spirits unless proper information establishes to the satisfaction of the City Council or its designee that such person, partners in the firm, officers and directors of the corporation have not been convicted or pled guilty or entered a plea of nolo contendere, and have been released from parole or probation, to any crime involving moral turpitude, illegal gambling or illegal possession or sale of controlled substances or the illegal possession or sale of alcoholic beverages, including the sale or transfer of alcoholic beverages to minors in a manner contrary to law, keeping a place of prostitution, pandering, pimping, public indecency, prostitution, solicitation of sodomy, or any sexually related crime within a period of five (5) years immediately prior to the filing of such application. At the time an application is submitted for any alcoholic beverage license, the applicant shall, by a duly sworn affidavit, certify that neither the applicant, nor any of the named (in the application) owners of the establishment, has been so convicted in the five (5) years preceding the filing of the application. If any applicant, partner, or officer used in the sale of distilled spirits, after a license has been granted, is convicted or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a crime involving moral turpitude, illegal gambling or illegal possession or sale of controlled substances or the illegal possession or sale of alcoholic beverages, including the sale or transfer of alcoholic beverages to minors in a manner contrary to law, keeping a place of prostitution, pandering, pimping, public indecency, prostitution, solicitation of sodomy, or any sexual related crime, then the license shall be immediately revoked and canceled.
- No license for the retail sale of distilled spirits shall be granted to any person convicted under any federal, state or local law which amounts to a felony, within five (5) years prior to the filing of application for such license.
- For purposes of this Ordinance, a conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere shall be ignored as to any offense for which a defendant was allowed to avail themselves of the Georgia First Offender Act (1968 Ga. Laws, page 324), as amended. Except, however, that any such offense shall not be ignored if the defendant violated any term of probation imposed by the court granting first offender treatment or committed another crime and the sentencing court entered an adjudication of guilt as to the crime for which the defendant had previously been sentenced as a first offender.
- It shall be unlawful for any City employee directly involved in the issuance of a retail license under this Ordinance to have any whole, partial, or beneficial interest in any license pertaining to alcoholic beverages in the City.
- No license for the retail sale of distilled spirits shall be granted to any person who has had any alcohol license of the City previously revoked within five (5) years prior to the filing of the application.
- The City Council may decline to issue a retail license when a person having any ownership interest in the operation of such place of business or control over such place of business does not meet the same requirements as set forth in this section for a retail licensee.
- All licensed establishments must have and continuously maintain in Turner County a Resident Agent as indicated in subsection (A). The licensee shall file the name of such Resident Agent, along with the written consent of such Agent, with the Director and shall be in such form as the Director may prescribe. The Resident Agent can be, but does not have to be, the applicant.
- A retail license application may be denied to any applicant for any alcoholic beverage license if the applicant lacks adequate participation in the proposed business to direct and manage its affairs, or if the application is intended to be a mere surrogate for a person or persons who would not otherwise qualify for a license for any reason whatsoever. Each person signing an application for a license under this Ordinance must file concurrently with the application a sworn affirmation as to his interest or involvement, or both, with the entity seeking the license
- Before any license for the retail sale of distilled spirits is granted, the applicant must post with the Mayor and City Council, along with his application, a personal performance bond, such bond to be conditioned requiring the faithful observance and performance by the licensee of the rules and regulations contained in this article. Upon the violation of this article or any part thereof, the amount of the bond to be forfeited will be determined by the seriousness of the violations as determined by the Mayor and City Council after a hearing is held by the Mayor and City Council after a three days’ written notice is given the violator. Such bond is to be payable to the Mayor and City Council in the amount of $5,000.00, to be approved by the Mayor and City Council, and shall be executed in a form to be furnished.
- A notice of each application shall be advertised in the official legal organ of the Mayor and City Council once a week for two (2) weeks immediately preceding the meeting of the Mayor and City Council that the application is to be acted upon. Such notice shall contain the address of the proposed location described in the application.
Sec. 6-306: Location of licensed operation: distance requirements from schools and church buildings.
- No person may sell, or offer to sell, distilled spirits in or within 100 yards of a church or alcohol treatment facility, or within 200 yards of any school building or daycare facility.
- For purposes of this section, distance shall be measured in a straight line from the front door of the structure from which the distilled spirits, sold or offered for sale, in a straight line to the nearest public sidewalk, walkway, street, road or highway, along such public sidewalk, walkway street, road or highway by the nearest route to the front door of the school building, educational building, college campus building, church building, or alcohol treatment facility.
- As to any location licensed in the future, if the distance requirements in this Section are met at the time of issuance of any license, the subsequent opening and operation of a church or school or daycare or alcohol treatment facility within the distance prohibited in this Section shall not prevent the continuance of an existing license or the renewal thereof or the issuance of a new license to any subsequent owner of such property so long as there is not a period of twelve (12) months or more during which there is no sale of distilled spirits occurring on the premises.
- No more than two (2) licensed locations within the City shall be located within 1,000 feet of Interstate 75 as measured from the center of Exit 80 currently within the city limits of the City of Sycamore. One (1) licensed location within the City may be located within 1000 feet of City Hall as measured from the front door as specified in subsection 2. of this Section.
- No licensed location shall be situated within 300 feet of another license location.
Sec. 6-307. License issuance and fees.
- If the applicant is an individual and the license is granted, then the license shall be issued in the individual’s name, and the name of the Registered Agent if the applicant is not a resident of Turner County, Georgia.
- If the applicant is a partnership and the license is granted, then the license shall be issued in the name of a partner who is a resident of City of Sycamore, Georgia, or in the event a Registered Agent was designated for matters relating to the license, the name of the Partnership with the identity of the Registered Agent noted thereon.
- If the applicant is a corporation or a non-profit and the license is granted, then the license shall be issued in the name of the shareholder or member who is a resident of the City of Sycamore or in the event a Registered Agent was designated for matters relating to the license, the name of the corporation or non-profit with the identity of the Registered Agent noted thereon.
- Only one (1) retail distilled spirits license shall be issued to any one (1) person in the city, and no person who holds a retail distilled spirits license in any other county or municipality of the state, shall be eligible to receive a retail distilled spirits license. The term “persons” as used in this section shall include all members of such licensee’s family, and the term “family” shall be deemed to include any person related to the holder of such license within the first degree of consanguinity or affinity as computed according to the civil law.
- No more than two (2) retail distilled spirits licenses shall be issued at any time, and no more than two (2) retail distilled spirits licenses shall exist at any time.
- The annual fee for a retail distilled spirits license as set forth in this Ordinance, unless the same has been amended, and the same is on file in the office of the City Clerk, shall be paid prior to the issuance of any license, such fee to accompany the application and shall be either in cash or a bank certified check.
Sec. 6-308. Transferability of license/change in ownership.
- In the event a licensee under this Ordinance desires to transfer the location of the licensee’s business to a different location for which there is not already a license issued, the licensee shall pay an administrative fee and complete a transfer application on forms to be provided by the Director. The transfer application shall be subject to the notification requirements within this Ordinance and the matter shall thereafter be scheduled to come before the City Council of the City of Sycamore, Georgia. No investigatory fee will be required for this type of transfer.
Sec. 6-309. Display of license and ordinance at place of business; signs and posting.
- Each licensee licensed under this Ordinance shall keep a copy of this Ordinance upon the licensed premises and shall instruct any person working there with respect to the terms of this Ordinance; and each licensee, the licensee’s agents and employees shall at all times be familiar with the terms of this Ordinance. The licensee shall in all respects be the responsible party for violations of this ordinance.
- The holder of a license to sell distilled spirits shall post in the most conspicuous place in his establishment a sign printed in letters at least four inches high reading as follows: “SALE OF DISTILLED SPIRITS TO MINORS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.”
Sec. 6-310. Automatic license forfeiture for non-use.
- A license issued pursuant to this Ordinance shall be valid only so long as the licensee is actually engaged in retail sale of alcoholic beverages in accordance with the specific terms or conditions for which the granting of the license was approved. Any holder of any license under this Ordinance who shall for a period of thirty (30) days after the license has been issued cease to operate the business for which it was issued shall, after the 30-day period, automatically forfeit the license without the necessity of any further action, and shall not be entitled to a refund of any monies paid or deposited under this ordinance.
Sec. 6-311. Repeal of conflicting ordinances.
- All ordinances and resolutions and parts thereof in conflict herewith are repealed.
Sec. 6-312. Severability.
- If any section, provision or clause of any part of this Ordinance shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional, or if the provisions of any part of this Ordinance as applied to any particular situation or set of circumstances shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity shall not be construed to affect the portions of this Ordinance not so held to be invalid, or the application of this Ordinance to other circumstances not so held to be invalid. It is hereby declared as the intent that this Ordinance would have been adopted had such invalid portion not been included herein.
Sec. 6-313. Effective date.
- A separate retail license for the retail sale of distilled spirits shall be required for each place of business.
Sec. 6-314. Building and inventory requirements.
- No license for the retail sale of distilled spirits shall be issued to any person unless the building in which the business will be located is complete and detailed plans of the building and outside premises are attached to the application, or unless proposed plans and specifications and a building permit of a proposed building to be built are attached to the application. The completed building or the proposed building shall comply with Ordinances of the City, regulations of the state revenue commissioner, and the laws of the state. The proposed building shall also be subject to final inspection and approval when completed by the Director. Each building in which the business will be located shall contain sufficient lighting so that the building itself and the premises on all sides of the building are readily visible at all times from the front of the street on which the building is located so as to reveal the inside retail area of the building and so as to reveal all of the outside premises of the building. Each applicant for a retail license shall attach to his application evidence of ownership of the building or proposed building, or a copy of the lease if the applicant is leasing the building.
- No licensed retailer shall keep any distilled spirits stored in any bonded or other type warehouse in the City, nor shall he enter into any type of arrangement whereby distilled spirits ordered by him is stored for him by any licensed wholesaler. A retailer shall keep no inventory or stock of distilled spirits at any place except his licensed place of business, and within his licensed place of business his storage space for distilled spirits shall be immediately adjacent to the room in which he is licensed to do business.
- Every licensed retailer shall ensure that adequate, functional security cameras, both inside and outside of the licensee’s place of business, shall remain in working order at all times. The Director shall be permitted to inspect the inventory of any licensee, the place of business of any licensee, and upon requests by the Director, the security camera system of any licensee.
Sec. 6-315. Unbroken packages not to be sold.
- All licensed retailers shall only sell, or offer for sale, distilled spirits in their original, unbroken, individual package or bottle, and shall not sell, or offer for sale, any package or bottle containing less than one-half of one pint.
Sec. 6-316. Sales of other products; consumption on premises prohibited.
- No retailer shall sell, or offer for sale, or display or keep in stock, at his place of business where distilled spirits are offered for sale, any other product or commodity except the following:
- Wines and beer when properly licensed.
- Beverages containing no alcohol commonly used to dilute distilled spirits.
- No beverages of any kind may be opened or consumed in such place of business.
Sec. 6-317. Deliveries off premises prohibited.
- No retailer shall sell or deliver any distilled spirits to any person except in the retailer’s place of business.
Sec. 6-318. Hours and days of sale.
- No retailer shall be in his place of business, or open his place of business, or furnish, sell or offer for sale any distilled spirits at any of the following times:
- At any time on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day;
- At any time in violation of a local ordinance or regulation or of a special order of the Mayor and City Council;
- On any other day before 7:00 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m., eastern standard time.
Sec. 6-319. Financial responsibility of applicant.
- Any applicant for a license to sell distilled spirits must show, to the satisfaction of the Mayor and City Council, financial responsibility.
Sec. 6-320. Additional qualifications of applicant.
- Any applicant for a license to sell distilled spirits must be of good character, and all managers, clerks or other employees shall be of like character, or an application will not be considered.
- No applicant for a license who has a criminal record (except minor traffic offenses) shall be granted a license.
- The Mayor and City Council, in its discretion, may consider any extenuating circumstances which may reflect favorably or unfavorably on the applicant, application or the proposed location of the business. If in its judgment circumstances are such that the granting of the license would not be in the best interest of the general public, such circumstances may be grounds for denying the application.
Sec. 6-321. Applications presented in person.
- All applications for a license to sell distilled spirits shall be presented in person.
Sec. 6-322. Licenses not transferable.
- No license to sell distilled spirits shall be transferable or assignable to any person or other location; and if a licensed business is sold or closed, it shall be the duty of the licensee to immediately surrender his license to the Mayor and City Council.
Sec. 6-323. Availability of regulations; liability for violations.
- All holders of a license for the sell distilled spirits shall keep a copy of this article in his premises and shall instruct any person working there with respect to the terms hereof, and each licensee or his agents selling distilled spirits shall at all times be familiar with the terms of this article. The licensee shall be held responsible for any acts of his employees in any violation of this article or of the laws of the state or the rules and regulations of the state revenue commissioner.
Sec. 6-324. Inspection authority of officials.
- The business premises of the holder of a license to sell distilled spirits shall be open to inspection at any and all times by officers or officials authorized to conduct such inspections.
Sec. 6-325. False statements on application.
- The making of any statement on an application for license to sell distilled spirits that shall be later found to be false shall constitute grounds for revocation of the license.
Sec. 6-326. Age of employees.
- No person under 21 years of age shall be employed in any capacity in any place of business licensed under this article.
Sec. 6-327. Prohibited acts.
- There shall be no gambling, betting, games of chance, punchboards, vending machines, slot machines, pinball machines, lotteries or tickets or chances therein or the operation of any schemes for hazarding money or any other thing of value in any licensed retailer’s place of business or in any room adjoining the same, owned, leased or controlled by the licensee; and any violation of this section shall be cause for suspension or revocation of the license.
Sec. 6-328. Display of license.
- Licenses under this article shall be displayed prominently at all times on the premises for which they were issued.
Sec. 6-329. Compliance to laws and regulations.
- No person shall engage in the sale of distilled spirits in the City without first complying with the rules and regulations set out in this article. Any person violating the rules and regulations set out in this article shall be subject to revocation of a granted license, and punishment as prescribed by the Mayor and City Council. In addition to the rules and regulations hereinabove set out, each licensee doing business in the City under this article shall comply with all laws of the state, federal laws, and rules and regulations of the state revenue commissioner relating to the sale of distilled spirits in the state; and any violation of same shall subject the licensee to immediate suspension or revocation of the license to sell distilled spirits, and also shall subject the licensee to criminal prosecution by the proper authority as provided by law and the ordinances of the City.
Sec. 6-330. Effective Date.
- Having been read and passed on the FIRST READING at a meeting of the City Council of the City of Sycamore, Georgia, held on April 13, 2023; and
- Having been read and passed on the SECOND READING at a meeting of the City Council of the City of Sycamore, Georgia, held on April 27, 2023.
THIS AMENDMENT IS HEREBY adopted and ordained this 27th day of April, 2023.
CITY OF SYCAMORE
Wayne Woodruff, Mayor, City of Sycamore
Clay Harris, Council Member
James Galt-Brown, Council Member
Jennifer Yawn, Council Member
Alan Coker, Council Member
Attested to by: