Correction: The story has been changed to reflect that Councilmember Shari Winstead made the motion to allow only beer and wine and not hard liquor.
In what Mayor Keith McGlashan billed as a test run, the Shoreline City Council voted Monday night 5-2 to allow beer and wine for special events in portions of two parks, Cromwell Park and Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.
The alcohol in the parks legislation, which was originally proposed by Councilmember Shari Winstead, is intended to allow alcohol to be served at weddings and other special events at the upper terrace of Richmond Beach Saltwater Park and the amphitheater at Cromwell Park.
McGlashan, Winstead, Will Hall, Chris Roberts and Jesse Salomon supported the new law while Chris Eggen and Doris McConnell opposed it. McConnell was concerned about alcoholism and the impacts on children. Eggen was concerned that not enough public input was gathered especially from neighbors of the two parks.
Winstead proposed an amendment to the original proposal which limited the alcohol to be served to beer and wine, and excluding hard liquor. That amendment passed unanimously.
A special alcohol permit must be obtained from the city by the event sponsor 30 days in advance of the event. The event sponsor also needs to have commercial general liability insurance up to $1 million in coverage.
There are no restrictions in the law on the number of people allowed at events where beer and wine would be served, but Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Dick Deal said an estimated limit on what might be approved is 200 people at Cromwell Park and 75 people at the terrace at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.
According to the city's staff report presented by Deal and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Board Chair Bill Clements, there is no direct financial impact from expanding the alcohol use policy to include more parks and facilities.
But the report also states that it is possible that there may be an increase in rentals, which could bring in more revenue. However, there are some costs to consider, such as the potential for more damage to park facilities as a result of alcohol use as well as increased cost in staff and/or police time to monitor events.
The City currently requires a $200.00 damage deposit and a state banquet permit from the Washington State Liquor Control Board when alcohol is served.