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Charlotte leaders vote unanimously to allow the establishment of social districts in the city

Social districts allow people to carry and drink alcoholic beverages outside within designated zones.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — During Monday's meeting, Charlotte City Council voted unanimously to allow the establishment of social districts.

Social districts would allow people to carry alcoholic drinks outside from place to place within the designated zones. 

This is the first step to create outdoor drinking areas in the Queen City, but does not green-light any plans.

Social districts in Charlotte will have to have boundaries marked with signs that include days and hours when alcohol consumption is allowed. By law, social districts cannot operate outside the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

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Drinks in any approved social districts in Charlotte will be sold in cups labeled and approved by the city.

Multiple cities and towns in the Charlotte area, including Cornelius, Hickory and Kannapolis, have created social districts this year. Eight cities across North Carolina currently have social districts in place. Now, Charlotte can join that list.

Business owners say a social district will attract tourists and encourage residents to spend money in local businesses. 

"It feels right to come to a neighborhood like NoDa, Plaza Midwood, even South End, where people go to a restaurant, but they expect to stop into a shop where they can buy art or stop into our place where they can buy sangria," NoDa Company Store co-owner Joey Hewell previously said. 

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