EAST LANSING (WWJ/AP) – An ordinance that was aimed at curbing excessive drinking at bars and restaurants in the city that’s home to Michigan State University is getting another look.
The East Lansing regulation, known as the 50/50 ordinance, requires bars or restaurants selling alcohol to earn at least 50 percent of revenue from food sales. The ordinance implemented in the 1980s also requires businesses to file quarterly reports with the city.
The rule was initially put in place to curb excessive drinking but questions have been raised about its effectiveness.
A report from East Lansing’s Downtown Development Authority found that the ordinance is seen as a hassle for most of those involved.
Authority chair Bill Mansfield said requiring each business serving alcohol to file a quarterly report results is a lot of extra paperwork for city staff to process. Even though the city can enforce the rule and make sure businesses are in compliance, Mansfield said this doesn’t usually happen and isn’t necessary — given the strict regulations handed down from local law enforcement and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Mlive.com reported.
Mansfield said the most of the responsibility in preventing excessive drinking should fall on the business owners and operators serving alcohol.
“Any city, college town or not, is always going to have their fair share of alcohol incidents, but let’s trust our operators to be really good operators,” he said.
East Lansing City Council is expected to further discuss and potentially vote on whether to suspend the rule at next Tuesday’s city council meeting, WILX-TV reported.
Some council members agree that the ordinance puts the city at a disadvantage compared to other communities, while others say the ordinance has worked in setting standards and worry there are no suitable replacements should it get suspended.
Mayor Pro Tem Triplett said suspending the ordinance would give the city a chance to study its effect on the community.
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