The Hillsdale City Council voted to take the next step in creating a “Social District” downtown.

Council voted 8-1 Monday to approve a Management Plan for a Social District, which will allow bar and restaurant patrons to carry open alcohol containers between participating businesses in the district.  

Mayor Adam Stockford proposed the idea last summer. 

The city’s Marketing and Development Coordinator Sam Fry told council, social districts have proven beneficial in other cities–He said they tend to draw patrons downtown and increase foot traffic at related businesses. 

Councilman Bruce Sharp cast the only vote in opposition to the proposal–He said the city’s police department is “busy enough” without increasing the number of intoxicated people downtown. 

Mayor Stockford said a number of business owners are onboard with the concept. 

Councilman Joshua Paladino proposed making special exceptions to allow bars & restaurants outside the downtown to participate in the social district. 

He suggested “de-criminalizing” open alcohol containers between certain areas of the city. 

Council took no action on the suggestion. 

The city will need the approval of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission before completing the downtown Social District.

News, Public Service

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