Supervisors support Stonefield as a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area

A live music program at one of Albemarle County’s mixed-use communities got a boost earlier this month when the Albemarle Board of Supervisors agreed to a letter of support for an Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority license known as a DORA. 

“A DORA is a designated geographic area licensed by the ABC annually that allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages, (wine, beer, mixed beverages) in a public space and a private space which include things like streets and lawns, and within any business without an ABC license as long as the business agrees,” said Roger Johnson, Albemarle’s economic development director. 

These designated outdoor refreshment area licenses have been used in Scottsville and last month, one was used in Charlottesville for the Tom Tom Festival.

“I will mention to you that I spoke with the director of economic development from Charlottesville and there were no complications with this particular event,” Johnson said. 

Johnson said beverages purchased at individual restaurants at Stonefield could not be transferred between those businesses. In this case, a nonprofit organization will be the entity that technically applies for the license. 

“And what we’re asking you to do is provide a letter of support that verifies that Stonefield consulted with a local municipality and they will submit that with their ABC application,” Johnson said. 

An ordinance would be required if an entity wanted to hold more than 16 events a year or for more than three days. Until then, all that’s required is a map of the DORA, a public safety plan, and designated cups.

“Also required at the events are specific containers that are no larger than 16 ounces with the name or the logo of the retailer from which it was purchased,” Johnson said. 

In the case of Stonefield, they’ll produce the Music on the Lawn events and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence will be the nonprofit partner. But the whole point is to drive business.

“Stonefield informed us that onsite traffic increased by 25 percent when they held Music on the Lawn,” Johnson said. “The point being, we will be helping existing businesses with the foot traffic.” 

Supervisor Diantha McKeel asked that there be outreach to the people who live in the apartments and condominiums at Stonefield. She was also concerned with the potential waste from the plastic cups. 

“Is there a way to brainstorm or think about what other options we could provide that are not just, I mean, we’ve switched to paper here and I don’t think these cups are going to work,” McKeel said. “I am saying that it’s something to think about.”

Johnson said that could be made as a condition of the letter of support. A vote to authorize that letter passed unanimously. 

The first event will be held on May 27 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the May 10, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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