The Hendersonville Board of Mayor and Aldermen will vote next week on changing who can apply for a special event permit from the Beer Board.
Currently, only nonprofits can receive special event permits, but the proposed legislation will allow any entity that has the proper insurance and licensing to apply for a permit to sell beer at events. This permit is good for 12 events per year.
The City regulates the sale of beer, but the state regulates the sale of hard liquor.
The ordinance also stipulates that 20 percent of all alcohol sales during an event be donated to a nonprofit that serves Hendersonville.
The ordinance passed first reading 10-3. It will come before BOMA April 13 for its final reading.
Ward 6 Alderman Eddie Roberson was one of the votes against the ordinance.
“I opposed it because I fear the change is likely to bring more events to our Parks where alcohol, both beer and stronger liquor, is served,” he wrote. “I want our Parks to be more kid-friendly. I also didn’t think our existing method was broken and needed fixing.
Mayor Jamie Clary echoed that sentiment.
““I worry about our parks and other facilities in Hendersonville becoming venues for events that are not connected to our residents. I don’t want to lose the connection those facilities have to the people who live here,” he wrote.
The ordinance applies to any event in the City where beer is sold, not just on City-owned property.
“It takes away a lot of the burden off the nonprofits,” said Ward 3 Alderman Russ Edwards, sponsor of the ordinance.
Andy Gilley, parks director, described the ordinance as an attempt to assist nonprofits in being able to raise funds through events, not just in parks but at other non-city owned locations without placing all of the liability back on nonprofits.
“If you’re not a non-profit, and you pull an event permit, you’re going to give back to the community in some way,” said Andy Gilley, parks director.
There are additional guidelines for events with alcohol at City parks, but all events selling beer in the City require a special events permit.
“We are getting requests and proposals for more and more professional level events and bigger and better events,” Gilley wrote to BOMA. “I personally trust the people that run these type events for a living more than I do our volunteer nonprofits in our community to be able to comply with all the rules and regulations when it comes to these permits.”