Lilburn amends alcohol ordinance

LILBURN - Lilburn residents can now get an alcoholic beverage at the local mom and pop restaurant.

The City Council amended its alcoholic beverage ordinance at Monday's meeting, allowing restaurants with fewer seats to sell alcohol.

The city's policy formerly required any restaurant requesting a license to sell alcoholic beverages to have no less than 100 seats.

With the changes approved Monday, the licensing will be based on not only the number of seats but the percentage of food sales.

Smaller restaurants will need to have a larger percentage of their revenue from food sales; larger restaurants can have a more even split of food to alcohol.

"This is a way to attract better and nicer restaurants to the city - restaurants that may not have 100 seats," councilman Ken Swaim said. "But at the same time, the graduating scale will not attract bars."

The smallest seating permitted will be 40 seats with a minimum of 80 percent of revenue coming from food sales. From 50 to 74 seats, 70 percent food revenue, 75 to 99 seats will require 60 percent food revenue and 100 and more will need only 50 percent its revenue from food sales.

Lilburn council tables school lighting request

The Lilburn Council also tabled a request for outdoor lighting by Providence Christian Academy until the Council's April meeting.

A decision on the school's request for outdoor lighting at their soccer and baseball fields was tabled when the council realized the school had failed to meet several conditions of the original special-use permit allowing the fields to be built.

"We will table this until our April meeting," council member Eddie Price said. "During which time the initial conditions of the special use permit need to be reviewed and some understanding of compliance needs to be reached."

The specialized permit granting the baseball and soccer fields was granted in 1997 and required that a planted buffer be installed between the fields and the neighborhood. The buffer that was installed does not extend to the homes near the soccer fields.

"We have had the fields for nine years," said Johnny Crist of Providence. "In that time we thought we had met all the requirements and no one from the city told us we were not in compliance."

The request for the lighting was initially brought up in May, but the Planning Commission recommended denial because of the location in a residential community. The school completed several engineering studies to see the affects of the lights on the neighboring community and decided to bring the request before the council.

"Before we can consider doing anything with this request," said Swaim, "we need to make sure the original conditions are met."