CAMDEN — Camden Village Council discussed the possibility of implementing a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA zone, for upcoming events and festivals during its bi-monthly meeting, Thursday, April 7.
Councilman Jeff Steele brought to council the suggestion to implement a DORA zone which would consist of all outdoor areas of events and festivals held in Camden. This would allow local businesses who normally are unable to participate in events due to Ohio Revised Code 4301.62, to have stands and concessions within the designated limits of the DORA.
According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, a municipal corporation or township with a population of 35,000 or less, can have a DORA zone of up to 150 contiguous acres. This is not, however, a requirement for the establishment of a DORA zone.
Councilman Steele stated that with Camden’s current population, a DORA could include the entire town, but that was not his preference, suggesting instead having several connected areas which would allow patrons to partake in the DORA while roaming an event.
Despite the positive aspects of implementing a DORA for local businesses, council was aware some members of the community may choose not to patronize events which allow alcoholic beverages to be carried openly throughout events.
Councilwoman Debbie Hickman protested its establishment, pointing out there are already existing areas where alcohol consumption is permitted, and also stating her concern for making the area too large for law enforcement to properly supervise.
Councilwoman Kate Duskey countered her argument, stating some patrons would like to be able to travel outside of smaller zones to enjoy the rest of the festivals while enjoying their beverages — and that festivals held in the morning do not tend to draw unruly crowds.
“Normally you don’t have wildly drunken people at 10 a.m. going to shop for country home decor,” Duskey concluded.
Councilman Kelly Doran, who is on record as being undecided on the subject, said there would be recycling bins posted around events for patrons to discard their DORA cups, and no patrons would be permitted to carry cans or bottles of alcoholic beverages. In addition, all vendors who sell alcoholic beverages at events must be licensed to do so, preventing the sale of unlicensed alcoholic beverages.
Council did not take a vote on the implementation of a DORA, and all remain officially undecided as of April 7.
For more information on DORAs and Ohio Revised Code 4301.62, visit codes.ohio.gov.
Camden Village Council meetings take place the first and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall.
Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057