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MILTON, Ga. — Milton’s alcohol regulations have been under the microscope for several years, and additional updates were approved by the City Council at its Dec. 21 meeting.

Just over a dozen changes were made to the city’s alcohol codes, including the deletion of some previous limitations and language clarification.

A slew of new businesses are set to open in downtown Crabapple in the year ahead, and they could take advantage of a new permit the city is offering.

A grand opening/annual promotion permit will allow a business one event a year in which it can give away beer or wine for a four-hour period. Applicants are only required to submit certain information, and no pouring permits are required because the business is not selling the alcohol.

Included in the changes are provisions that a growler shop or craft beer/wine marker can apply for a reduced rate Sunday sales alcohol license if they meet state requirements, and that restaurants may sell beer and/or wine to-go with some restrictions.

In 2017, the city approved a “BYOB” license that allows customers of establishments that do not serve alcohol to bring in wine or beer for consumption on the premises, but it put in place a requirement that all employees of that business be 18-years of age or older. That regulation was nixed in the latest batch of updates.

“After talking with some holders of a BYOB license, it was very clear that that’s an undue restriction,” Sarah LaDart, economic development manager said.

LaDart said in such situations, the alcohol does not belong to either the business or its employees.

Earlier this year, the state signed into law that certain businesses could offer alcohol delivery but gave discretion to local governments to allow it within their jurisdictions. Milton voted over the summer to allow package stores to deliver beer, wine or liquor, and updated its code at the Dec. 21 meeting to include state law references.

In other action, the city remained optimistic it will be able to establish its Meet Me in Milton initiative in 2021, a varied series of community events in downtown Crabapple that were put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. The council approved such events on the third Saturday of the month from 4 to 8 p.m. from April through October of 2021.

The city also approved a minor plat for a commercial building and a mixed-use building on 2.9 acres at 12455 Broadwell Road.

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