LLC won’t be getting its liquor license from the state either.
By unanimous vote
this morning, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) upheld the
Porter County Alcohol Beverage Commission’s 3-1 decision on Sept. 10 to
reject the LLC’s application for a permit to serve alcohol at Indiana Dunes
State Park, at the re-modeled Pavilion on the beach and an affiliated
David Coleman told the Chesterton Tribune that he and his three
colleagues considered the matter of Pavilion Partners for around 20 minutes.
“We reviewed the evidence previously submitted and concluded that the local
board’s decision was not arbitrary or capricious,” he said.
Coleman noted that
Pavilion Partners has the option to appeal the ATC’s ruling. Should the
LLC’s principal, Chuck Williams, choose to do so, the ATC would assign an
administrative law judge to hear the appeal. “Then, depending on the judge’s
ruling, it could go to a trial court,” Coleman said.
Coleman added that
he’s been a member of the ATC for around nine months and in that time no
one, to his knowledge, has appealed an ATC ruling.
“We are very
pleased that the state commission upheld the decision of the local board to
keep Dunes State Park alcohol free, and hope this signals the beginning of
the end for these inappropriate plans,” said Desi Robertson in a statement
released by Dunes Action shortly after the ATC’s vote. “The Pavilion is in
great need of restoration but alcohol isn’t needed for that to happen. The
commission recognized that this is a family beach and that safe, outdoor
recreation is what it’s all about.”
Dunes Action noted
in its statement that ATC Chair David Cook, in upholding the ABC’s decision,
specifically cited “the importance of the local community and neighborhood.”
Dunes Action also
noted that Pavilion Partners has 15 days to file an appeal and that the
organization is preparing for that possibility.
“If they appeal, we
think we will prevail again,” said Norman Hellmers, co-chair of the Dunes
Action Alcohol Committee. “Pavilion Partners simply did not make their case,
and neither did the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.”
“You would think
all the other state parks are swimming in alcohol, the way the DNR has
represented it, and we’ve shown that simply isn’t true,” Hellmers also said.
“Denying alcohol at this park will not hurt its popularity in any way. It is
currently one of the top ten parks in the country, without serving alcohol,
and that won’t change.”
The permit sought
by Pavilion Partners would have allowed the service of liquor on both of the