The Porter County
Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) is going to have press Reset in the
matter of Pavilion Partners LLC’s alcohol permit, after the Indiana Alcohol
and Tobacco Commission (ATC) voted unanimously on Tuesday to send the LLC’s
permit application back to the ABC for another public hearing.
Unless one of the
four ABC members who cast a vote on June 11 decides to vote differently the
second time around, though, the ATC could very well see Pavilion Partners
all over again.
David Coleman told the Chesterton Tribune after deadline on Tuesday
that the ABC must conduct “a complete hearing” on the permit application.
“There was a lot of remonstration brought out that wasn’t brought out at the
first meeting,” he said, referring to the 264 emails received by the ATC
from opponents of the banquet facility which Pavilion Partners plans to
build at the Indiana Dunes State Park beach, under a lease agreement with
the Department of Natural Resources.
The ATC did receive
four emails in support of Pavilion Partners’ alcohol permit, Coleman said.
Coleman noted that
one of the ABC members who voted No-Rudy Sutton-originally sought a
continuance of the hearing in order to gather more information. “That member
was unable to get a continuance so we decided to send it back for more
information,” Coleman said.
Coleman added, the ATC has sent back to local ABCs “three or four” permit
The Porter County
ABC meets at 10 a.m. on the second Thursday of the month at the Porter
County Administration Building. It’s not yet clear whether the ABC will hold
the required public hearing on the morning of Aug. 13 when most folks are
working or will hold a special meeting in the evening and at a larger venue
to accommodate as many people as possible.
Ineligible to Vote
Member Kenard Taylor clarified the circumstances which made a 2-2 deadlock
possible on June 11: the state law which, as he told the Tribune
today, precluded him from casting a vote on Pavilion Partners’ application.
Voting No at
that meeting: Ed Fritz and Rudy Sutton. Voting Yes: Ralph Levi and,
representing the Indiana State Excise Police, Jamie Patrick. Not voting at
Under Indiana Code,
Taylor said, only the ABC member representing the largest city in the
county-In Porter County the most populous city is Portage-may vote on
alcohol permit applications countywide. ABC members representing any other
city in the county may only vote on permit applications within their city
limits. Taylor, accordingly, as Valparaiso’s representative on the ABC,
simply could not vote on the Pavilion Partners application for a
permit to serve alcohol 10 miles or so north of the city’s corporate limits.
Should an ABC
deadlock at 2-2-as the Porter County ABC did on June 11-the permit
application in question is automatically forwarded to the ATC for action.
For the record:
although all three newspapers have reported that Taylor recused himself from
the vote at the June 11 meeting, in fact it’s now clear that Taylor did not
recuse himself, nor did he abstain, nor would there have been any point to
his doing either, inasmuch as he simply wasn’t permitted under Indiana Code
to vote on the Pavilion Partners’ application. Of that fact he was reminded
out loud by Member Jamie Patrick in the course of the meeting, Taylor said.
The 100-foot Rule
While he was at it,
Taylor also suggested that there’s been some misunderstanding of the laws
which will govern the serving of alcohol at the Pavilion and the banquet
facility. By his reading of Indiana Code, patrons will not be allowed to
routinely carry alcohol outside the Pavilion, in the same way that the
patrons of any other bar or restaurant are prohibited from carrying alcohol
outside or off the property.
earlier this year-does allow the consumption of alcohol within 100 feet of
the Pavilion and the parking lot, Taylor said, but only during “special
one-day type of events” and only with the permission of the DNR. A similar
example would be last Saturday’s Valparaiso Wine Festival.