Township board approves first reading of Alcoholic Liquors Prohibited ordinance

Board applies for liquor license at Brady Lodge

By Megan Kelley
Clarkston News Editor
The Independence Township Board of Trustees held the first reading of an ordinance amendment last week at its regular meeting on April 16. The ordinance in question is the township’s Alcoholic Liquors Prohibited ordinance which prohibits the consumption of alcoholic liquor in public parks.
The amended ordinance, which the board approved the first reading of unanimously, would prohibit individuals from consuming alcoholic beverages in public parks unless the Township Board of Trustees approves an exemption for specific event spaces.
The board also voted unanimously to apply for one of its two available Class C quota liquor licenses to Brady Lodge.
“This ordinance allows the township to approve, in advance, designated areas within our parks, that’s all it does, for the sale of alcohol,” said the township’s attorney Dan Kelly. “We anticipate that the township will have a liquor license for Brady Lodge that would be your liquor license so it would not be a one day license.”
After the upgrades completed at Brady Lodge in the past year, the space has become a venue for events like anniversary parties, open houses and galas – all events that often request to serve alcohol.
Because Brady Lodge does exist within a park, the current ordinance also applies to the venue.
“The township, under past board members, had sort of put into place – we had moved in 2020 to allow alcohol to be at Brady (Lodge) but because Brady Lodge is within a park, in order for us to move to apply for a license to sell alcohol at Brady, we have to make an amendment to our township ordinance,” said Clerk Cari Neubeck. “As it stands right now, alcohol is prohibited from being consumed in the park unless we approve an exemption from specific event spaces.”
According to Neubeck, the township does currently allow alcohol at Brady Lodge but the alcohol is provided and brought in by the individual hosting the event, not sold by event staff.
Earlier at the meeting, the board approved three lodge rentals that included alcohol.
“This would be something that the township would move forward for. It’s not something we have to do right now – with selling it, I think this could be another tool in our toolbox. We’ve done some great improvements over the years with Brady Lodge and I think it is and even will more grow to be a great venue for different establishments and events in our township,” Neubeck said.
The board clarified that how it would work is alcohol would be sold inside Brady Lodge and outside there would be signage stating that no alcohol could be taken outside of that designated area.
“It’s not like this would open it up to have food trucks or people show up with alcohol,” said Trustee Theresa Nallamothu. “This will be in the confined space of Brady Lodge.”
Trustee Jim Tedder also spoke in favor of the amended ordinance, citing convenience for renters who now don’t have to get their own temporary liquor license to provide their own alcohol.
The amended ordinance would encompass all of the township and its parks meaning events could potentially have things like beer tents as long as they received approval from the board of trustees.
“How I anticipate this happening – since most of our functions will be at Brady Lodge – the board will approve Brady Lodge for functions. Any other park or any other special event within a designated area would be singularly approved by the board,” Kelly said.
Neubeck reiterated that this was really the first step of the process and that procedures and policies would be put into place once the township receives the liquor license for Brady Lodge.
The board is expected to hold the second reading and potentially approve the amendment at the next board of trustees meeting on May 7.

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