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Monday, September 14, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - More on "Dunes liquor license hearing Thursday at Expo Center" [Updated]

Updating this ILB post from last Thursday, Rob Earnshaw of the NWI Times reported Friday in a long story that begins:

VALPARAISO | The Porter County Alcoholic Beverage Commission voted Thursday to nix a plan to allow a restaurant liquor license at the Indiana Dunes State Park submitted by Pavilion Partners LLC.

The vote, 3-1, was a second attempt on the vote after a vote earlier this year ended in a tie. A state agency kicked the vote back to the county level.

Jessica O'Brien of the Michigan City News Dispatch has a story this weekend that begins:
VALPARAISO — Those opposed to the construction of the Dunes pavilion at the Indiana Dunes State Park claimed a victory on Thursday evening as the Porter County Alcohol Board voted 3-1 to deny an alcohol permit requested by Pavilion Partners.

This group has encountered opposition from the community over the past several months in their pursuit to restore the existing pavilion by adding a restaurant, banquet hall and conference center with the hopes of being allowed to serve alcohol.

A hearing held at the Porter County Expo Center on Thursday — which lasted more than four hours — was attended by a couple hundred interested individuals from all over Northwest Indiana. The overwhelming majority was opposed to Pavilion Partners and their request to serve alcohol on state property so near the beach.

Nearly 50 people from the community spoke during a public input session at the hearing. Five were in support of Pavilion Partners receiving an alcohol permit while the rest were firmly in opposition.

The vote by the Porter County Alcohol Board serves as a recommendation to the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission in Indianapolis, which will have the final say in the coming weeks as to the issuance or denial of an alcohol permit for Pavilion Partners.

A story this weekend in the NWI Times, by reporter Earnshaw, begins:
VALPARAISO | Despite being denied a restaurant liquor license for its operation at Indiana Dunes State Park, Pavilion Partners LLC officials still are holding out hope their beverage plan can be saved in Indianapolis.

Pavilion Partners spokeswoman Deb Butterfield said they appreciate the Porter County Alcoholic Beverage Board's decision in favor of the local community’s concerns, but they will continue to monitor the process at the state level. * * *

Following a meeting Thursday that lasted more than four hours, the local board voted 3-1 against the license. The vote is a recommendation that will go before the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission on Oct. 6.

[Updated at 12:53 PM]"Dunes liquor license opponents enjoy happy hour" is the headline to Amy Lavalley's Sept. 11th story in the Gary Post-Tribune. Some quotes from the long story:
Thunderous applause and a standing ovation filled the Porter County Expo Center when the Porter County Alcoholic Beverage Commission voted 3-1 against granting a liquor license for Pavilion Partners' plans for a renovated pavilion at Indiana Dunes State Park.

More than 520 people, many clad in green shirts as a show of support against the license, filled the expo center Thursday night during the permit hearing, which stretched on for more than four hours.

Speakers against the license far outnumbered those in favor of it, citing concerns about safety and the loss of a family-friendly environment with the introduction of liquor being served at the pavilion in Chesterton.

Desi Robertson, co-founder of Dunes Action, a grassroots organization that opposes both the liquor permit and Pavilion Partners' plans for an adjacent, 17,000-square-foot banquet facility, presented the county liquor board with petition signatures of 1,175 people against the liquor permit.

She noted the Indiana Department of Natural Resources sought to ban alcohol at the state park 25 years ago.

"The reasons for this ban are positive. It's a family place now," she said, adding Dunes Action is in favor of renovating the pavilion, but not selling alcohol there. "Selling it will only give patrons the perception that consuming alcohol is acceptable."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 14, 2015 09:25 AM
Posted to Indiana Government