PTC doesn't extend Sat. bar hours

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 8:35pm
By: John Munford

A provision to extend Peachtree City’s bar closing hours on Saturdays from midnight to 2 a.m. Sundays didn’t even get a vote from the City Council tonight.

The bar closing proposal required any such bar to install video surveillance cameras in several areas. Bar owners at the council meeting agreed to install the cameras or expand their current surveillance system to meet the rules.
Bar owners said they are losing business to Coweta County which allows its establishments to stay open that late.

But that apparently wasn’t enough to convince most council members. Councilman Steve Boone moved to approve the changes, but no council member offered a “second” to the motion.

Mayor Harold Logsdon ruled the motion “dead for lack of a second.”

In addition to the surveillance cameras, the new ordinance also required a $500 fee for the ability to serve the extra two hours and a new closing time of 2 a.m. for the other days of the week, which the city currently does not mandate.

The new ordinance also mandated a “last call” time of 1:55 a.m. each morning with a provision that everyone be outside of the establishment at 2:30 a.m each morning.

One bar owner suggested that some patrons binge drink before 9 p.m. when they take off for establishments in Coweta County. Boone said bartenders should make sure customers who are too inebriated do not drive, even calling them a cab if necessary.

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Submitted by gagirl31 on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 1:39pm.

I can't understand why the council just won't let the bars stay open till 2am. I understand that everyone is worried about drinking and driving and all of that stuff, but I would rather people drink close to home here in PTC than driving to Coweta County and then driving even further back home here to PTC. They can kill more people coming back this way than if they were to just stay home and drive the golf carts home. PTC has always been a fuddy duddy town and won't keep anything close to home like movie theaters, skating rinks etc because you are afraid of "crime" get over it. Crime happens everywhere, you won't be able to control it. You have to learn to live with it. Granted I don't condone people committing crimes but you have to learn how to adjust when it does happen. Our poor kids have nothing to do around here. And then you wonder why kids break into cars, vandalize the golf cart paths and everything else. Give these kids something to do in this town. Quit trying to control everything the residents do. I like living here but sometimes I feel like I live in a prison because there isn't anything to do around this town but shop. I have to drive an hour to a mall, 20-30 mins to the movie theatre etc, when I would like to just drive down the street. give the residents of this town a little room and trust that they have brains and will use good judgement.

Submitted by Dondol on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 1:48pm.

But kids don't need to be drinking until 2am!

Obama's weapon of Choice!

Submitted by gagirl31 on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 1:52pm.

i didn't say kids should be drinking till 2am. Most kids around here aren't old enough to drink. All I was saying is that people like me, who do go out and have fun every once in awhile but who knows when to stop and get a cab, should be aloud to stay and drink closer to home instead of going to Atlanta or Coweta County. All I was trying to say is I would rather ADULTS drink closer to home then going to Coweta County and drinking till 2am and then driving back here to PTC home.

secret squirrel's picture
Submitted by secret squirrel on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 9:05am.

Just hope no one who is against increasing bar serving hours spouts those lovely rhetorical phrases about capitalism and free market and letting people have a choice. Also hope they're not the ones crying about business in Peachtree City going elsewhere due to various city codes.

Can't have it both ways.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 9:24am.

Municipalities and societies set up rules and laws by which to govern. They can be restrictive or free depending upon the laws established under the aegis of a constitutional framework. A society then conducts business under that framework. As long as the framework is predictive and legal, then all is good. In a capitalistic society, businesses will adapt with the times or meet needs in areas where the rules allow them to meet the needs.

The issue today is that on a national level, the constitutional framework has evolved in unpredictive ways. Now we are nationalizing businesses and the commerce clause has been defined to basically make your drinking times moot. The Feds can be determined to enact national policy on something as trivial as this if they choose to do so.

In short, I can rejoice, or lament, at this city council action and feel strongly that capitalism has nothing to do with this. A spurious leap for you to make, Secret Squirrel

MajorMike's picture
Submitted by MajorMike on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 8:55am.

Would the $500 fee, collected from each bar that elects to stay open until 2:00AM, pay for the additional law enforcement personel needed to address the additional problems? Simple math suggests that it would not even if we had five times the number of bars in PTC that we do now. Surveillance cameras would simply give us video of code violations or crime, they would not appreciably reduce the problems.

Alcohol and cigarettes are our national (legal) drugs, it's time we woke up and delt with the associated problems in a responsible manner. In this case, the PTC Council did just that (even with the one vote exception). Let Coweta have the problems, they're a glutton for punishment.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 8:12pm.

The police dept has to patrol on Saturday nights reguardless of when local bars close. Because even if local bars close at midnight PTC residents will still go to bars else where and then drive home to PTC. So how would law enforcement be effected either way?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 9:42am.

To answer your question I have to give a bit more information.

Currently there is no mandatory closing time during the week but most close by midnight anyway.

Chief Clark stated no foreseeable additional patrols would be necessary. I trust his opinion.

One problem for me, on this issue, was the Mayor made no contact, with at least some other Council Members, before he met and negotiated with the owners to arrive at the 2:00 AM closing, Monday through Saturday nights. He had no idea of our opinions on this matter.

Another problem was calling this a negotiated compromise. Council has no need to compromise. We can put a time cap on any day any time we want. We do not have to give up something in return.

That bothers me because we have heard the same compromise talk about developments, etc.

We heard some talk in that direction on a sign variance request, last night, as well. So I made a strongly worded motion to deny that carried 5-0.

Sure, I don't want to anger or frustrate any property owner, developer or business. But I don't want to give up our Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Plan, Village Concept, quality of life, etc. to appease them either.

Finally, the Mayor could have seconded the motion. He didn't. Was that non support of something he negotiated or knowing that not getting someone else to second it means it would have been a 2-3 loss?

Getting more revenue to the City off of things like this is not a motivator for me. For some, yes it is. But not for all of us.

I agree it is time to deal with the consequences of drugs, etc. The talk of closing early resulting in binge drinking before closing, lining up drinks to keep drinking after serving ends and leaving early to keep drinking in Senoia and Coweta were disturbing to me.

Keeping them local to keep them off the road driving back didn't inspire me either.

I don't want that kind of PTC.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by America on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 12:58pm.

What is PTC noise ordinance? Living in the area of these bars we can hear the thumping until close. If these bars were to stay open till 2am that would make it worse for the families that live in the area and can already hear the music.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 2:42pm.

I don't want to miss any of the pertinent sections under Article X, so please ask your specific questions at Betsy will get with David or Tony to give you that data.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

MajorMike's picture
Submitted by MajorMike on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 12:16pm.

Don Haddix,

Thanks for the additional info. I fear though, that I cannot agree with Chief Clark (or you) on the issue of no additional personel. Common sense tells us that if people are seeking places to drink longer into the morning hours, then auto accidents, altercations, and even the birthrate (LOL) are going to increase. Recent events have shown us that most of the problems (including deaths), are caused by out of town/county drinking visitors to PTC. One has but to read the Coweta/Newnan crime reports to understand that later bar closings, and the resulting shift of the late night boozing crowd, would indeed be an impact on PTC's quality of life and indeed on law inforcement resources. I and my business have been the victim of selective and deliberate inaction by law enforcement, therefore I fear that the Chief's assessment is more politically motivated than realistic.

If the midnight closing time is indeed voluntary during the work week, then I applaud the business integrety of the bar owners. I then must ask our "illustrious" Mayor the question; "Logsdon, what kind of dimwitted game are you playing this time?"

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 2:38pm.

I believe the idea behind the statement was these areas are already patrolled more than some others. So, the add has already occurred.

After the Council Meeting I asked some follow up questions for which the Chief is processing answers.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 11:07am.

Exactly why the proposal to extend bar hours was brought to the fore, we'll probably never know for sure. While many of Peachtree City folks choose to imbibe from time to time, they(we) did not choose to locate here based upon bar availability. We chose to live here because of the family friendly atmosphere whereby we can raise our children relatively protected from ills of society.

The extension of bar hours does nothing to enhance our quality of life, brings very little to the table in the form of revenue, and sets the stage for further drains upon city resources. The motion was ill advised in my opinion, and demonstrates just how out of touch with their constituency some on Council are.

Submitted by gagirl31 on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 1:46pm.

Mr King,

I don't agree with you at all about this subject. bar life does bring revenue for the city. if it wasn't for patrons going into the bars to spend money on that alcohol then there wouldn't be all of these restaurants and businesses coming here. Second, while I agree with protecting children from society, you can't protect them forever with what goes on around them. That is unrealistic. Kids cannot grow up thinking that the world is all peachy, because IT IS NOT. Protecting them too much they won't be able to protect themselves when they get older and won't know how to handle different situations that is thrown at them. Teen pregnacy happens, shootings happen, CRIMES HAPPEN. And before you ask, NO i don't have children, but I do know that kids know more than their parents think they know and do more than what their parents think they do.

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 4:40pm.

Obviously we are in significant stages of life, so please, no lectures on child rearing until you have some experience. Never did I say that revenue was not derived from alcohol sales, only that the extension of bar hours is not worth the resources that would have to be expended.

In retrospect, I appreciate the fact that you voice an opinion, but do not loose sight that others may differ.

Liferfrom65's picture
Submitted by Liferfrom65 on Thu, 04/16/2009 - 11:14pm.

"Bar owners said they are losing business to Coweta County which allows its establishments to stay open that late."

Good, lettem go!

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 4:17am.

So let it happen in Coweta County. Peachtree City is not a late night town - never has been.

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