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Residents may vote on Sunday alcohol sales
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Dawsonville residents soon may have a big decision to make: Should alcoholic drinks and distilled spirits be sold on Sundays at restaurants and hotels?

Now, only sales of beer and wine are allowed on Sundays inside city limits.

The city has drafted an ordinance that, if approved, would put the decision of Sunday alcohol sales in the hands of Dawsonville voters on Nov. 5.

If you see fit to pass the ordinance, then we would call for a referendum, said City Attorney Dana Miles during the citys regularly scheduled meeting held July 1.

Passage is a two-step process.

Members of the city council first must approve the ordinance, then voters must say yes to Sunday sales.

The ordinance states the city would call for a referendum on on-premise sales of alcoholic drinks, including distilled spirits, by eating establishments and hotels within the City of Dawsonville on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. ...

As required, a second reading of the proposed ordinance is scheduled for the next city council meeting Aug. 5 at 5 p.m. Members typically cast their votes immediately following a second reading.

Also, restaurants would be required to have at least 50 percent of their total annual gross sales from food before they could sell alcoholic drinks and distilled spirits.

Council member Chris Gaines asked if passing the ordinance would conflict with existing package sales inside city limits.

No, this is by the drink, said Miles.

In March 2012, voters in Dawson County approved the sales of distilled spirits on Sundays.

In other action, the city approved three special event permits to allow the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame to serve alcohol during upcoming events: July 20th during the Old Moonshiners of Georgia Festival; Aug. 10 at the Racers Reunion/Lakewood Speedway Reunion, and Aug. 23 24 during a music and beer festival.

The city also sought to correct zoning on a 1.53 acre parcel owned by Mark Sosebee Realty. At its June 3 meeting, the city council approved an "annexed property" zoning designation on the parcel, which had been approved for annexation into the city.

The applicant, Mark Sosebee Realty, however, had requested the parcel be zoned CIR (Commerical Industrial Restricted).

Miles explained that the citys planning commission tabled the CIR designation that was requested, and the council voted to approve the annexed property designation.

Miles recommended that the council give the parcel back its original residential (R-1) designation, then send it back to the citys planning and zoning department for consideration again.

An attorney for Mark Sosebee Realty brought the error to the council's attention.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 5, at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 415 Highway 53 East, Dawsonville.