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Updated: 01/09/2014 08:00:03AM

Alcohol rules, CRA to be Town Council topics

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The first Lake Placid Town Council meeting of 2014 will convene at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall with an agenda that has the potential to be important for the town’s future direction.

Two issues are expected to draw considerable attention both for the board and town residents. The second reading of proposed amendments to the town’s code regulating alcoholic beverages is expected to be a hot topic; as is a proposed Community Redevelopment Agency for Lake Placid.

The proposed changes to the alcohol rules involve defining a patio and allowing consumption of alcohol on that patio, deleting the definition of a school, deleting different hours of Sunday operations and alcoholic sales, and repealing the prohibition of alcoholic sales near schools and churches.

Proponents say relaxing the rules for alcohol sales would help attract downtown restaurants and allow existing businesses to expand sales. Opponents question Sunday morning sales, the proximity issue related to schools, and the deletion of the definition of a school.

The second issue, a CRA, should also generate some interest. The council is considering establishing a CRA to help the town encourage growth in areas such as commercial development, job creation, housing, and infrastructure.

Many towns and cities in Florida have successful relationships with a CRA. Sebring and Avon Park have active CRAs that have proven successful. The advantages of such a relationship is not necessarily at issue. The issue seems to be spending the money for a needs assessment.

Also expected to be agenda topics will be discussion of garbage collection and recycling; a lease renewal for Bicentennial Park on Dal Hall Boulevard; and fire safety inspections. The agenda for Monday’s meeting was not yet posted on the town’s website as of press time.