ASHEBORO – The Zoo City Social District is growing.
Beginning in February, people will be allowed to buy open containers of alcoholic beverages from more businesses in downtown Asheboro to take outside.
The city council voted 6-1 to adopt an amended ordinance and a larger social district map, effective Feb. 1. City Attorney Jeff Sugg said it incorporates changes to the state’s social district law.
The Zoo City Social District is active on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
During those days and times, customers who buy a beverage from a business with an ABC permit may legally carry it in a specially marked open container within the social district’s boundaries.
Here are the ordinance changes accompanying the expanded district:
— Businesses are only required to put the date of the purchase on the beverage cup, not the time of purchase or the buyer’s name.
— Permittees are explicitly stated to include wine shops.
— Customers shall not bring the beverage to a business without an ABC permit (a non-permittee) within the district unless that business displays uniform signage allowing those beverages on its premises.
— Non-permittee businesses that allow beverages must put signs on any exits that do not lead into the social district, warning customers that an open container would be unlawful past that point.
— The city is required to have clear, uniform signage marking the district boundaries.
— Downtown Asheboro, Inc. is given authority over the management and maintenance plan.
Sugg said the ordinance language clarifies that it does not police how a beverage is sold for consumption within an establishment.
People may not bring an alcoholic beverage into any ABC permittee business if they did not buy it there. Businesses without a permit, known as non-permittee businesses, are not required to allow customers to bring alcoholic beverages onto their premises, even if they are within the social district.
Councilman Eddie Burks was the sole vote against, saying that the larger district may put too much stress on police officers enforcing it.
The request to expand the social district came from Positano on South Church Street. The Council chose the larger of two proposed maps.
Mayor David Smith says the new district’s footprint is not substantially larger but accommodates other businesses that may want to participate in the future.