Open plastic containers of alcohol could soon be allowed on Main Street after a Memphis City Council committee began discussion on the topic Tuesday, recommending the proposed ordinance for approval to the full council.
But, before anyone is able to walk the length of the Main Street mall sipping spirits from an open container, the full council must approve the ordinance. It’s set to take the first of three votes on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Sponsored by council member Martavius Jones, the ordinance would allow people to partake in alcohol on Main from E.H. Crump to A.W. Willis. This, Jones said would spark further economic growth, bringing in “ a lot more vibrant businesses” on the street.
Per the request of the city’s chief operations officer Doug McGowen, Jones will meet with representatives from the Downtown Memphis Commission, owners of Main Street restaurants, and other stakeholders for more discussion on the question.
Also on Tuesday, the council revisited discussion of how the city handles the application and notification process for events that temporary close down city streets.
Council member Reid Hedgepeth is sponsoring an ordinance that would require race and parade organizers to apply for a permit 90 days ahead of the event. Currently, organizers only have to register for a permit 14 days out.
Additionally, organizers would be required to mail notifications to any residents or businesses that might be affected by the event or the streets closed as a result.
This would allow those who oppose the street closure to submit opposition to the city’s permit office, which would then be presented to the council for a vote.
However, council member Martavius Jones expressed concern over the organizers of small races and parades not being able to afford mailing out thousands of notifications.
But, Hedgepeth added that the Memphis Runners Track Club is working to create designated, pre-approved race routes away from neighborhood streets. He said once these standard routes are decided, organizers won’t have to send notifications if their event is along those routes.
Council member Patrice Robinson added that there needs to be a more intentional effort about having races in the city’s parks.
The council is set to return to the issue on Tuesday, Dec. 5.