The Marietta City Council will soon decide whether it will allow restaurant customers to carry alcoholic drinks around the square and ban the use of e-cigarettes at park
Photo: Lindsay Fox/Pixabay
Photo: Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Marietta may ban e-cigarettes, but welcome open containers

The Marietta City Council will soon decide whether it will allow restaurant customers to carry alcoholic drinks around the square and ban the use of e-cigarettes at parks.

The council’s Judicial Legislative Committee sent those two items to be discussed by the entire council at its April 8 work session and then voted on at its April 10 meeting.

Open-container districts, also referred to by some cities as entertainment districts, allow patrons to carry out open alcoholic drinks from restaurants operating inside a designated area.

If approved, Marietta would become the fifth city in Cobb to enact an ordinance. SmyrnaKennesawPowder Springs and Acworth all have entertainment districts. Marietta’s district would include the popular square with its shops, restaurants and bars.

Some downtown Marietta business owners began circulating a petition this year to show the council the proposal was popular among entrepreneurs. Alexis Aleshire-Kinsey, co-owner of Taqueria Tsunami on the square, said every person she has spoken to expressed support for the open-container district.

“I think there’s more of a vibe around the community to move it forward,” she said, adding the measure could help keep Marietta Square competitive with other markets.

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Marietta City Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly said she doesn’t have a problem with allowing downtown visitors to carry an alcoholic beverage while strolling in the area. However, she is opposed to allowing alcohol at Glover Park, and hopes there could be some guidelines in place to ensure the city retains its family-friendly atmosphere.

The borders of the proposed open-container district are defined as Atlanta/Cherokee streets from Waverly Way to Hansell Street; Church/Powder Springs streets from North Park Square to Waverly Way; Winters Street from South Park Square to Anderson Street; Mill Street from Denmead Street to Cherokee Street; South Park Square; and Anderson Street from Powder Springs Street to Atlanta Street. No alleyway would be included in the district.

This isn’t the first time Marietta has explored creating an entertainment district to be part of its downtown. The Council in 2018 considered the proposal, but it never came to a vote.

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The city’s Judicial Legislative Committee also moved forward with a proposal that would ban the use of e-cigarettes at city parks. The original proposal would have also banned chewing tobacco from all parks, but that prohibition will be effective only at facilities with artificial turf.

Kelly said the move to ban chewing tobacco from parks with artificial turf stems from the the chewing tobacco’s byproduct damaging the fields. The council member said the city receives complaints from park visitors who say e-cigarettes have become “more of a nuisance” in public spaces.

“When we are tasked with governing public spaces, especially parks, we have to have considerations around the impact on others who are sharing those spaces,” she said.

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