BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council did not make a decision Wednesday at their zoning meeting, to allow alcohol to be sold at the popular outdoor entertainment and dining venue, Millennial Park on Florida boulevard.
The item was deferred until at least February.
A lot of people who live nearby the park spoke out against vendors being able to sell alcohol. Citing concerns about noise, traffic, and people parking in front of their homes regularly in the neighborhood. Some people were also nervous that a bar could bring crime in to their area.
“We don’t need alcohol, we don’t need all this parking,” said one citizen who spoke up at the meeting.
“All you’re going to need is one drunk pedestrian, trying to cross Florida Boulevard, and getting run down. And that’s going to shut the whole thing down,” said another neighbor.
“To sit up here and say that we don’t really want the young man to succeed, it’s not that. Alcohol don’t need to be in our neighborhood,” said another person.
Millennial Park C.E.O. Cameron Jackson asked the council to re-zone the property to allow for a sports bar. He says some of the alcohol sales could be reinvested in the neighborhood and surround area.
“I just look at it as the same thing on Government Street. Government street has plenty of businesses that are right next to residential areas, that have alcohol that are just like us. So we’re looking to see if we can keep the same safe environment as they have as well. and bring it on Florida Boulevard,” said Cameron Jackson.
Council members weighed in with their opinions on the proposal..
“I have no problem with a liquor license at all, but on this property it is so narrow, and so close to the edge of Florida,” said Chauna Banks, EBR Metro Councilwoman for District 2.
Locations such as these attract people who have already consumed alcohol, and they’re going to get alcohol at these facilities and these locations,” said Jennifer Racca, EBR Metro Councilwoman for District 12.
“That you don’t limit yourself, find you another spot to do this, and not in these folks backyards,” said Carolyn Coleman, EBR Metro Councilwoman for District 10.
Instead of deciding right now, the council paused the debate for a few weeks. And gave the folks at Millennial Park the chance to to apply a different type of alcohol license, one that’s similar to what a restaurant would use. Council leaders believe that may be a compromise.
“Which would allow them (Millennial Park) to establish a restaurant on the property and then allow them to have alcohol sales within the restaurant, in the building, located on the property. That is something the owners said they wanted to do,” said Lamont Cole, EBR Councilman for District 7.
“I’m listening to everything they’re (neighbors) saying, and trying my hardest, doing everything that I can do, to accompany them and make everything happen that they would like. But some things are just outlandish,” said Jackson.
One homeowner went as far as creating a website with a list of complaints compiled since Millennial Park opened.
Jackson says they do have a contract with Baton Rouge General across the street for people to park there.
And Millennial Park owners say they should be applying for that new license, to allow restaurants to sell alcohol at the park, at the next council meeting in February.
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