NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – Local businesses and members of the Negaunee public had the chance to voice their thoughts on the possibility of forming a Social District in Downtown Negaunee in a meeting on Monday night. The Negaunee Downtown Development Authority (DDA) held the meeting on Monday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Negaunee Ice Arena.

A new law instated by the State of Michigan permits the on-site sale and off-site consumption of alcoholic beverages in designated “Social District” areas. The law aims to encourage economic activity and provide flexibility for hospitality businesses.

Under the designation, eligible businesses can apply for a Social District Permit granted by the Michigan Liquor Control Commissions to sell alcoholic beverages on their property. Customers could then consume the drinks within the social district area.

The City of Negaunee wrote the following regarding the proposed designation:

“Commons area” means an area (one or more) within a social district that is clearly designated and clearly marked by the municipality and that is shared by and contiguous to the premises of at least two qualified licensees. A commons area would not include the licensed premises of any qualified licensee. Practically speaking, the qualified licensee would sell the alcoholic beverage to the consumer who could then walk to and consume the beverage in the commons area, only. The consumer is not allowed to take the beverage out of the commons area.

The city included the following map of the proposed Social District:

Courtesty City of Negaunee

You can hear City Manager Nate Heffron discuss the proposal here.

Questions about the proposal are asked to be directed to Nate Heffron at (906) 475-7700 ext. 11. You can read about House Bill 5781’s history here.