Cheers! Drinking and dining zones expand in Duval County
Image by Ira Lee Nesbitt from Pixabay.

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Jacksonville Beach, Mixon Town and the Northside will all benefit.

The Senate passed legislation already approved by the House that will expand zones in Duval County where liquor can be served legally.

The “Downtown Incentive Zone,” the North Florida Keys Corridor, and the Dennis Street Commercial Corridor Area in Mixon Town are all poised to be able to expand alcohol service after Thursday’s Senate vote on HB 1561.

The bill, carried by Sen. Tracie Davis in the Senate and Rep. Wyman Duggan in the House, was passed en masse with a swath of other local bills.

The DIZ is in the heart of the commercial district, inside a rectangle framed by 3rd Street, the Atlantic Ocean, 6th Avenue North and 2nd Avenue South, facilitating hard liquor service in smaller restaurants than currently allowed.

Jacksonville Beach seeks a lowering of seating requirements to 50 seats and square footage of 1,200 or more with this legislation, allowing alcohol service as long as at least 51% of gross revenue comes from food.

The North Florida Keys Corridor (NFKC) will get similar exceptions for space and seating requirements for commercial properties.

The NFKC will get reductions for restaurants serving liquor from 100 to 50 seats, and reducing the square footage requirement from 1,800 to 1,000 on parcels located along Heckscher Drive from Clapboard Creek on the south/west end (near the entrance to JAXPORT on Blount Island) to Haulover Creek at the north/east end (near the entrance to Huguenot Park).

Event Centers are also poised to get a break, via exceptions to the Dennis Street Commercial Corridor Area in Mixon Town, immediately west of Interstate 95 and the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

Covered here are three parcels that have an occupant capacity between 2,100 and 2,900 people, an overall floor capacity between 22,000 and 35,000 square feet, with more than half of the revenue not from alcoholic beverage sales.

These new permissions will help the local economy via an increase in sales tax revenue and licensing revenue.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



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