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Albemarle seeking public comment as it considers creating a social district

On Monday, the city hosted two community feedback sessions to see what it could possibly look like.

ALBEMARLE, N.C. — The city of Albemarle is considering creating a social district -- which is a designated outdoor area where people can carry open alcoholic drinks during specific times -- in its downtown area.

On Monday, the city hosted two community feedback sessions to see what it could possibly look like. Several other cities in the Charlotte area including Hickory and Cornelius have tested out social districts already.

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Charlotte city planners said they are also looking to launch a pilot program for the city's first "social district," and City Councilman Larken Egleston thinks the Plaza Midwood neighborhood would be the most logical location.

RELATED: More North Carolina cities consider social districts

"I think that would be a pretty turn-key place to do it," Egleston, who currently represents District 1 but is vying for an at-large City Council seat, said during an episode of Flashpoint. "It's a conversation that I've already started having with business owners in Plaza Midwood, but there's a number of places where I think it would be a good fit."

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In Kannapolis' newly approved West Avenue District, customers who buy an alcoholic drink at Chophouse 101, Sabor, or Old Armor Beer Company will be allowed to take the drink outside of the restaurant and consume it on the sidewalks or public areas inside the social district.

RELATED: City councilman says social districts could help Charlotte restaurants

The public sessions took place at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at city hall.

Other cities considering, or testing, social districts

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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