Changes made to open container ordinance

Commerce – The City of Commerce has approved changes to the City's Code of Ordinances relating to open containers on the down-town square.

A recent review of the 2005 Corridor Ordinance, which at the time was believed allowed the possession of open containers in the down-town area, has been determined does not allow such possession.

In 1983 an ordinance was adopted prohibiting open containers on the down-town square. When the Corridor Ordinance was passed three years ago, open containers were thought to be allowed at public events and by certain business owners owning bars down-town.

The approval of the ordinance Tuesday night, passed by a 3-1 margin, now requires the applicant of the event, to request permission in writing to the Commerce City Manager prior to any public event in which open containers will be allowed.

It will be unlawful for any person to consume or to have in his/her possession any alcoholic beverage in any public street, thoroughfare, sidewalk, or on any public or semi-public parking facility in the city. The foregoing prohibitions shall only apply in the following areas on the occasions stated:

1) The Corridor District only, upon approval of the City Council for sale and consumption within the said District only, of alcoholic beverages associated with a special event. Sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages shall be limited to beer and wine, and permitted by the city manager of designee only under the following conditions:

A. The special event shall be designated by the City Council as an event during which temporary sales of beer and wine shall be permitted in outdoor areas.

B. The person's responsible for the sale or dispensing of the alcoholic beverages shall comply with all local, state and federal laws related to the sale, dispensing and consumption of alcoholic beverages, including, but not limited to, procuring a license to sell alcoholic beverages from the state.

C. All sales of alcohol shall take place during the event as specified by the City Manager or designee, and only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, 9:00 a.m. New Year's Even and 1:00 a.m. New Year's Day (only if it falls on a Saturday), and 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on any other day.

Tuesday's approval indicates passage of a first reading, meaning passage of a second reading, projected to take place later this month, must be approved prior to the ordinance taking effect.