Ludington council to consider establishing ‘social district’

February 8, 2021

Ludington council to consider establishing ‘social district’

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

Update: This item was removed from the Council’s Feb. 8 agenda for further consideration. 

LUDINGTON — Ludington City Council will consider the establishment of a “social district” when it meets in regular session tonight, Monday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. State legislation passed in summer of 2020 established the ability of municipalities to set up the districts in order to allow “to-go” alcohol consumption within the district. The beverages can be consumed anywhere within the district but cannot be taken into establishments. 

The proposed district would include an area that runs along South James Street from Ludington Avenue to Melendy Street; the alley east of James Street running north and south between Ludington Avenue and Melendy Street; Melendy Street from James Street to the alley east of James Street; Foster Street from James Street to Rath Avenue; Filer Street from the alley east of James Street to Rath Avenue; Loomis Street from James Street to the alley to the east of James Street; the alley just south of Ludington Avenue from Rath Avenue to the alley east of James Street. 

Streets in the social district would remain open to traffic and for parking. The district and the common areas are being proposed with the expectation of certain properties being developed that would include future businesses with liquor licenses. 

Those businesses that sell the “to-go” alcohol would have to obtain a permit from the state for $250 and receive approval from the City Council. 

The proposal is a result of several meetings that have been held within the downtown Ludington business district. 

“The creation of a social district will allow our downtown bars and restaurants potential new revenue avenues as well as have the ability to bring more people downtown to patronize non-liquor licensed establishments,” City Manager Mitch Foster wrote in a memo to the council. “The potential could serve our downtown businesses well if the COVID requirements continue for the foreseeable future, but, even if those do start to wind down, this will continue to create revenue opportunities for all businesses.”

Participating establishments would be required to purchase serving cups and stickers from the city, which would help raise revenue for marketing the district. 

The proposal also states that the social district will have the opportunity to provide entertainment and food trucks on a regular basis. 

The social district law does not allow special event liquor licenses to participate in a social district. 

Today’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. It is an open meeting that can be accessed via Zoom,

Meeting ID: 842 1599 2562

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Meeting ID: 842 1599 2562

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