This article was originally published by the Charlotte Business Journal.
There's been much chatter about so-called social districts since a state law allowing their creation was enacted last fall. But it seems Charlotte won't be getting one of its own for several months yet.
That's according to CBJ news partner WSOC-TV, which reports on a memo from a city staffer to Charlotte City Council that says such a district would take another three to five months to implement. Social districts are designated places where people may consume alcohol on sidewalks and other public areas. The memo outlined steps that need to be taken by the council, such as adopting policy for the districts, and by staff, like coming up with a process for neighborhood groups to apply.
Several cities around the region and across North Carolina have acted faster. The Charlotte Observer had a report earlier this week that checked in on how the districts are working out in other cities.
In a nutshell, they're popular among business owners.
“I think it is a great addition, especially when you have a beautiful downtown like this,” said Stefan Perrine, the owner at Old Armor Beer Co. in Kannapolis, per WSOC's report. That city's downtown area, which it designated as a social district soon after Gov. Roy Cooper signed the state measure into law, is in the midst of a significant revitalization effort.
Dalton Espaillat, whose Raydal Hospitality has a restaurant there, told the Observer the district has been “a blessing for us.”
Parts of Plaza Midwood, NoDa, South End and uptown — areas of Charlotte with lots of bars, restaurants and entertainment businesses — have been mentioned as possible places to test the concept.