Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins delayed a vote on an ordinance that would allow beer gardens located outside the village’s downtown to play live music.
The ordinance was originally on the July 26 meeting agenda. Hoskins said he wanted to delay it to work out some language but didn’t elaborate beyond that. He didn’t respond to e-mails and calls requesting comment on what issues need to be worked out.
The move comes as the village continues to enforce the moratorium, which will last until Sept. 6, prohibiting all live entertainment at bars and restaurants. The village council imposed it to give Forest Park time to address perceived weakness in the current rules, so that the village can provide better oversight over what kind of live performances are allowed. The topic wasn’t addressed during the July 26 meeting, and it’s not clear when the village may revisit it.
Under Section 3-3-5 of the village municipal code, “no live entertainment or live music” is allowed in beer gardens. The ordinance would modify the language so that the prohibition would only apply to beer gardens located in the area zoned as Downtown Business District – which includes every building along Madison Street. For beer gardens elsewhere in the village, the music must stop playing by 11 p.m. The ordinance doesn’t set any other restrictions. If approved, the ordinance would take effect immediately.
On July 2, the village council approved a temporary moratorium on processing public place of amusement licenses, which had the effect of banning live music in bars and restaurants, until at least Sept. 6. Under the municipal code, bars and restaurants have to apply for amusement licenses any time they wanted to host a performance to give Forest Park officials a chance to review it. However, that provision hasn’t been enforced in years.
At the time, Hoskins said that the moratorium would give the village time to update the “insufficient” regulations. He indicated that the village attorney is working on the language, and that it may come back to the village council on July 26 – but that didn’t pan out.
During the July 2 meeting, commissioners proposed relaxing the existing beer garden limits, with commissioner Ryan Nero saying that it would be a good way to support local businesses. At the time, Hoskins said that it was something the village had to approach carefully and thoughtfully. Although he said that the ordinance may take longer than a month, it was included in the July 26 meeting agenda.
During the actual meeting, Hoskins said that he intended to table the beer gardens ordinance.
“I think some of my colleagues have some feedback,” he said. “We can work out some language and come back another day.”
The commissioners didn’t object, and the council moved on to the next item on the agenda.
Unless the council schedules a special meeting, the earliest the village council can revisit the ordinance is on Aug. 9.