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Monkeying with Nashville Distance Law?
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Monkeying with Nashville Distance Law?

12.19.11
Tennessean columnist Gail Kerr had some strong arguments to overturn Metro Nashville's longstanding prohibition on beer being sold within 100 feet of a house, school, park or church. Read her story here.

Problem is, the existing opt out from the 100 foot rule works. Kerr cites 6 businesses that have been exempted by the rule - saying that they have not been problems for the neighboring churches or homes. This is proof that the current Metro opt out law works. Metro should not completely eliminate the 100 foot distance rule.
Distance ordinances are not a perfect solution. The 100 foot distance rule sets a firm but arbitrary boundary for restaurants and bars to operate near protected places like churches and homes. No one wants a noisy tavern to open 25 feet away from their house.
The exception from the 100 foot rule is crafted to require owners of potential bars and restaurants to meet with neighbors, much like the owners of Puckett's met with Kerr's church. The law requires support from the council member that represents the area around the business. It requires a public hearing.
Based on experience with the restaurants that have obtained beer permits under the opt out law, council members asked neighbors to weigh in on the process. Businesses understood that if they wanted to locate near a house or church, they needed to be responsible and present a business plan that complimented being in a residential neighborhood.
For example, I love Broadway Brewhouse in Midtown Nashville. But I would never want to live next door. Its a fun happening place that is not a good neighbor for a residential neighborhood.
The 100 foot is an odd remnant from the past. But with the council opt out law, it works and should not be abandoned.

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