By a 7-2 vote on Tuesday, Dec. 21, the Greensboro City Council established a “Social District” in downtown Greensboro, where people can legally walk around with alcoholic beverages in designated to-go cups.
City Councilmembers Sharon Hightower and Goldie Wells cast the no votes, after much discussion.
As is the usual practice for the current City Council, the first public discussion of the Social District was after the motion had been made to approve the new ordinance, and it was abundantly clear that the votes had been lined up for passage before the meeting.
This City Council prefers to do business in secret small group meetings. If a majority of the City Council is not present, then the meeting is not covered by the North Carolina Open Meetings Law.
In the map above, the new Social District is outlined in red, and it appears to have been drawn by a committee.
Hightower questioned why Center City Park was not part of the social district, and she suggested she knew why but would not articulate the reason. She said, “I think it is a recipe for disaster.”
Councilmember Justin Outling noted that the map of the Social District “was not very contiguous.”
Outling asked for an explanation of why Center City Park, which often had many people experiencing homelessness in it, was excluded, but Le Bauer Park, which had a different clientele was included.
Councilmember Tammi Thurm asked, “How do we plan on addressing individuals who purchase their drink at, say B. Christopher’s, and cut through Center City Park to get to LeBauer Park?”
Assistant City Manager Trey Davis said that public safety officers would be able to remind people of the parameters of the Social District and that there would be a lot of signage.
Davis also noted that while people will be able to walk around the Social District with an alcoholic beverage in an approved cup, they would not be allowed to enter into another establishment that had a license to sell alcoholic beverages with that cup.
Hightower suggested that the people who frequent Center City Park would be pulling those cups out of trash cans and finishing the drink.
Hightower said, “I would really like to revisit this and take some more time to look at it.”
Wells said, “I don’t know about people walking up and down the street with a drink. I don’t know that we have enough ambassadors and police to keep up with that. I was going to vote for this but now I’m having second and third thoughts about that.”
Davis said that the city hoped to have the signage in place and have the necessary to-go cups in order to implement the Social District by March 1.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan noted that the Social District would only be in effect from noon to 9 p.m. She said that by state law the city could have extended the time period for the Social District to midnight.
Don’t act surprised when there’s a marked uptick in drunks staggering around downtown and driving away once their business is done. I hope the first ones arrested are politicians and other high profile turds.
Good idea, but this should be a CITY WIDE ordinance, as long as the people are PEDESTRIANS. Otherwise, you are redlining areas based on “where do most white people hang out” New Orleans became a tourist mecca because victimless crimes are seldom enforced, no matter the neighborhood.
Good, intelligent comment. I have lived in New Orleans and this is a great observation.
Obviously you don’t work or travel through the other areas specifically District1 and 2. where that practice is the norm and is not enforced
Obviously you never go downtown especially on weekend nights. There’s way more black than White people to say nothing of the amount of crime and littering. Downtown was getting to be a nice place to go but not so much anymore soon it will be as it was in the 70s and 80s.
Can’t wait to see the mess this creates.
Congrats Council for another well done snafu.
Great- Greensboro may attract even more people who need to always have alcohol in their hands. Are we already tied for the title of “Beer Capital of the U. S. “Bet UNCG students spend more time and dollars on alcohol and drinking than they do on tuition and studying!
AND, if we lower the age for young people to drink, think of the extra tax revenue to support our welfare and addiction services!!!
I will NEVER go downtown again !! This is a recipe for disaster….I have no desire to be killed by a gun or be assaulted. My heart goes out to our police officers…. they don’t need this either.
What we have here is a whole lot of nothing. Their raison d’etre.
Words fail me.
“Social Drinkers” at noon walking around with a drink in their hand..another reason not to get a job (sigh)
Can anyone purchase cups? Is the city the only provider? Why is this district drawn around where day drinkers already congregate? What a terrible idea, must be to help lagging sales at Performance Arts Boondoggle. Mandate Mayor is prepping her legacy with business hemorrhaging, crime sky high, but at least the term goers can have a drink on their way to the newest revival of the Music Man.
Oh good, now we will have throwaway cups littering the streets along with the mask trash, to go with all the other problems this bad idea will bring.
Guns and alcohol do not bode well for the safety of law abiding citizens that go into this area. Who will be responsible for a traffic accidnet involving one of these individuals staggering around – the City or the Mayor? It’s difficult now to get around Downtown in a vehicle with people jaywalking at random and the scooters on streets and sidewalks.
Oh yeah. What could go wrong here? Greensboro will become a city for criminals and victims.
Looking at the map it looks like “redlining “ is alive and well in the Gate City. That’s sure to give highwater and well’s something to complain about.
John, I’d love to know where this idea originated.
Will we be able to bring the little liquor bottles and refill our cuts as we walk downtown? Maybe we can bring our cuts that we had before with us and not have to visit any of the bars. And how will our children respond to this seen of drinking people walking up and down the sidewalks? Do we really want our children to experience seeing this behavior? This is why when we go to a bar we can’t bring out drinks out of the bar. And being intoxicated in a bar is why the bartender will not serve us a drink, how about outside? Who will enforce the rules of being drink? This ruling will NOT work! Why do the citizens of Greensboro continue to let these Council members keep making these bad ruling?
Another example of stupidity by our council and mayor to appease a select few businesses. Crime will increase, our anti- police council will provide thousands of our tax dollars to groups without accountability. You the city does not have enough police to patrol this area. Look at the numbers that are leaving.
Council wonders why the city cannot attract large corporations? NO should be the answer!
City counsel is determined to destroy Greensboro. They hired a city manager chased out of Charlotte (up there with the school board hiring a superintendent chased out of Buffalo). They foolishly mistake pretty sounding ideas for being good ones. Stalin’s ideas sounded good too. The leader of 1930’s Germany was wildly popular because his ideas sounded pretty. All this confirms is we still won’t be going to downtown Greensboro. It’s like legalizing drugs – it might sound good, but the outcome is a predictable disaster. Let’s Go Nancy!!!!