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Alcohol in the park rises from the dead

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM

Like Jason, just when you thought the proposal to allow Berry’s to serve alcohol in Bresson Park was dead, it has reappeared.

At the request of several council members — and despite comments from other council members that the proposal was dead — law director Stuart O’Hara brought back the two pieces of legislation needed to allow Berry’s to serve alcohol in the city park.

The first changes the city’s law regarding alcohol in public parks. After expressing concerns that the original wording of the ordinance would open any city park up to alcohol, O’Hara said the version he presented Tuesday would allow only city parks in the uptown business district, zoned a B2, that have a liquor permit and a lease agreement with the city to serve alcohol.

The only two parks the legislation could possibly apply to are Bresson Park and Pohl Park — meaning locations such as the resorvoir would not be open to alcohol under any circumstances.

The second piece of legislation, the actual lease with Berry’s, would require the restaurant to purchase additional insurance. Berry's would be solely responsible for those people drinking in the park and the city would not assume any liability.

The lease could be terminated by any party with 30 days notice or immediately by the mayor if any portion of the lease is violated.

O’Hara assured council members that the change in liquor law would not allow anyone to bring alcohol into Bresson Park — it must be sold on the premises. Though, he added it would be possible for someone to bring food into the park.

“The way it’s writen, if you go there with food on a Friday night, there’s nothing in (the legislation) that prohibits it. They can’t keep you out,” he said.

Council will renew discussions about the proposal at its next meeting on July 10.

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