Clanton releases statement on proposed district
Published 3:18 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2022
From the city of Clanton
The Interstate 65 corridor in Alabama is one of the most significant generators of economic activity and development in the history of the state. In recent years, the growth of business and industry along this major thoroughfare has been remarkable. This provides cities located in proximity to the interstate with a huge economic advantage in attracting new retail, business and industry. However, a majority of the growth within those cities will occur in areas having convenient access to the interstate, causing a shift in the concentration of retail outlets away from traditional locations in the downtown district.
Since the opening of Interstate 65 through Chilton County, the city of Clanton has experience a similar trend as a majority of new retail development has occurred in proximity to our interstate interchanges.
One of the greatest challenges facing our local elected officials is the question of how to protect the economic viability of our downtown as the growth of the city shifts to locations along the interstate. To be successful in this effort, we must create an environment to make downtown Clanton a destination, not only for our residents but to attract additional revenue as travelers exit the interstate to visit our shops, restaurants, and retailers.
One of the most effective means of making downtown Clanton a destination for residents and tourists is the establishment of an Arts and Entertainment District. The primary purpose of this designation is to enhance pedestrian-orientated areas for outdoor special events that may include, but are not limited to, parades, concerts, holiday gatherings, fundraising for local charities and beer and wine-tasting events.
The creation of this type of district is authorized by the Code of Alabama and controlled by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. In fact, cities similar in size to Clanton; Wetumpka, Prattville and Jasper have already established Arts and Entertainment Districts as part of their downtown revitalization efforts.
Although the establishment of an Arts and Entertainment District will allow consumption of alcoholic beverages in public, this activity will be limited to specific times; Monday through Saturday 5 p.m. until midnight, and only within the designated boundaries of the Arts and Entertainment District. Each
establishment that serves alcohol within the Arts and Entertainment District must be designated by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
The designation of the Arts and Entertainment District will involve additional restrictions as well. For example, the public consumption of alcohol will not be allowed on Sunday.
No alcoholic beverages shall be removed from an authorized establishment in a can, bottle or glass container except as approved by the City of Clanton. No patron may exit an authorized establishment with more than one plastic container, maximum of sixteen ounces, of alcoholic beverage. The plastic container must include the distinctive Peach Arts and Entertainment District logo and the patron must consume or properly dispose of the entire beverage within the designated confines of the Arts and Entertainment District.
Additionally, alcoholic beverages purchased outside of the Arts and Entertainment District will not be allowed and no person may enter other licensed premises with an open or closed container of alcohol acquired elsewhere.
It will remain unlawful for any person to drink or attempt to drink any alcoholic beverage from a can, bottle or glass container, or to possess any open can, bottle or glass container on the streets, sidewalks, right-of-ways or parking lots within the designated Arts and Entertainment District. Furthermore, the consumption of alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle or on a bicycle is prohibited.
Finally, the ordinance will renew automatically each year but can be amended, suspended or terminated by official action of the Clanton City Council.
The geographic boundaries of the Peach Arts and Entertainment District are primarily located along specified areas of 7th Street and 2nd Avenue North in downtown Clanton. Maps depicting these boundaries are available at the Clanton City Hall during normal business hours or through participating establishments.
The establishment of an Arts and Entertainment District will an effective method to create a downtown that is a destination for residents and visitors. To attract tenants for the vacant storefronts and to recruit investors to restore the outdated structures along our main streets, we must be innovative in building a vibrant and attractive downtown Clanton. To do anything less will be to relegate our unique downtown area to the pages of history.