Chesterton Tribune

 

 

IATC OKs DNR application for Dunes State Park alcohol permit

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The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (IATC) voted unanimously this morning to “conditionally approve” the Department of Natural Resources’ application for three-way permits at nine state parks, including at Indiana Dunes State Park, where Pavilion Partners LLC plans to open a restaurant in a renovated Pavilion and build a brand-new banquet facility.

An IATC staffer confirmed just before deadline that IACT had approved the DNR application at its regularly scheduled meeting this morning and said she believed it had done so conditionally, “pending the inspection” of facilities where alcohol would be dispensed.

The staffer was unable to offer any more information, however, and referred the Chesterton Tribune to IATC Executive Secretary David Rothenberg, who did not immediately return a voicemail.

In fact IATC’s “approval” in the matter amounted essentially to a non-discretionary rubber-stamp of the DNR’s paperwork, inasmuch as legislation enacted by the General Assembly earlier this year requires IATC to issue three-ways to the DNR simply upon its “proper application,” without public notice or investigation by the local ABC; without regard to quota provisions; without a “determination of reputation and character”; and without “consideration of location,” that is, irrespective of whether there is a need for such services at the location of the permit, whether there is desire in the neighborhood or community “to receive such services,” and whether such services will have an impact either on the community or on other businesses in the community.”

That legislation was enacted after the IATC voted unanimously last fall to uphold the Porter County Alcohol Beverage Commission’s ruling to reject Pavilion Partners’ alcohol permit application for the Pavilion and banquet center.

DNR Director of Communications Phil Bloom told the Tribune earlier this summer that the legislation was “never intended to be an Indiana Dunes State Park-only alcohol bill.” On the contrary, he said, the whole idea was to manage alcohol service more “efficiently.”

Alcohol consumption will still be prohibited at Indiana Dunes State Park on the beach and in the campground, Bloom noted at the time.

In addition to Indiana Dunes State Park, the DNR applied for a three-way on behalf of the seven parks which presently have inns on their property--Brown County, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, McCormick’s Creek, Pokagon, Spring Mill, and Turkey Run--as well as on behalf of the Falls of the Ohio State Park.

 

Posted 8/16/2016

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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