Ahoskie approves downtown social district

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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AHOSKIE – Plans to create a “social district” in downtown Ahoskie were approved at the town council’s regular meeting on Sept. 12.

“A social district is a designated area where a person may consume alcoholic beverages sold by an ABC permitee within the social district,” explained Town Attorney Cecelia Jones.

The proposed district would encompass the blocks of Main Street between McGlohon and Catherine Streets as well as the part of Railroad Street stretching from Main to North Street. A few properties on the 100 block of N. Mitchell Street are included as well.

“It is the sole decision of a business located in that district whether to participate. They just have to have the appropriate signage at their places of entrance and exit letting the public know whether they are part of the social district or not,” stated Jones.

Mayor Weyling White said they’d had the opportunity to tour a social district in another town and he was impressed by how beneficial it was to the area.

“It will help economic development,” added council member David Hunt. “We’re trying to do this in an effort to actually try to grow the town of Ahoskie, and we’re starting with downtown.”

Jones also explained that social districts were discussed at a conference she attended, and representatives from other North Carolina towns such as Monroe and Tarboro said the districts drove new business to their towns and helped support existing ones as well.

In order to move forward, the council was asked to approve a logo, which was created by town staff, as well as a resolution for the district’s creation and an ordinance that lays out the guidelines.

According to the ordinance, the district’s hours of operation will be Monday through Sunday from 12 noon to 12 midnight. It is set to take effect on October 1, which Jones noted would give the town time to post the necessary signage beforehand.

Without any further discussion, the council approved the logo resolution, creation resolution, and the ordinance resolution. The vote was unanimously in favor among those in attendance. Council member Linda Blackburn was unable to attend the meeting.