Cedaredge reduces alcohol buffer zone around school

Photo by Hank Lohmeyer The Cedaredge Town Board adopted an ordinance that opens the way for a popular restaurant across the road from Cedaredge Elementary School to apply for a hotel/restaurant liquor license. The ordinance decreases the required distance

The Delta County School District Board of Education has officially opposed the Town of Cedaredge allowing alcohol sales 60 feet from Cedaredge Elementary School.

The town's Ordinance 2016-04, adopted in a surprise move by the town board on May 19, changes the previous distance from 500 feet. If the ordinance goes into effect, it will allow the owners of the Cedaredge Creekside Café to apply for a hotel restaurant liquor license to serve alcohol to customers. (See related story.)

When school officials learned of the town's action, the Board of Education adopted a resolution requesting "that the Town of Cedaredge follow the Colorado Liquor Code" which requires a 500-foot buffer from a school building.

The Board of Education's resolution also states: "The mayor and board of trustees for the Town of Cedaredge are strongly urged to vote NO on the issue of allowing liquor licenses [within] 500 feet from a public or parochial school." Town trustees have decided to reconsider the ordinance on June 16 at 7 p.m.

Other key points in the Board of Education's resolution include:

• Introducing children to alcoholic beverages sales would be an unhealthy influence. It is very hard to know what the future holds with a liquor license made available to a property within 500 feet of a school;

• The Delta County Board of Education is of the opinion that allowing a liquor license within 500 feet of any public or parochial school is not appropriate;

• The Colorado Liquor Code states that no liquor license shall be issued to a business located within 500 feet of any public or parochial school or the principle campus of any college, university, or seminary;

• The school district is concerned with patrons of surrounding businesses using school district property for parking; and

• The negative perception of alcohol sales near students, school families, and public schools is not the school atmosphere for learning and growing our children.

The Board of Education's resolution is signed by Tammy Smith, board president, and attested by Jan Tuin, board secretary. School superintendant Caryn Gibson told the DCI that the resolution was adopted by an email vote of board members and that it would be ratified in public at the Board of Education's June 16 regular meeting.

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