Council To Consider Allowing Trolley-style Pedal Powered Pub Tours

Council To Consider Allowing Trolley-style Pedal Powered Pub Tours Source: Town Council Agenda for 2-13-2018 meeting.

Council To Consider Allowing Trolley-style Pedal Powered Pub Tours Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 07 February 2018 00:22

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council will consider a request to amend the Town's Code of Ordinances during their upcoming February 13th, meeting to allow for trolley-style passenger vehicles that would offer tours in commercial and residential areas of town as well as permit their passengers to consume beer and wine during tours.

According to Town Senior Planner Jeremy Hardison, "The Applicant, Tina Bell, applied for a text amendment to allow for bicycle tours that would permit customers to consume beer and unfortified wine while on a trolley-style vehicle that would tour along a specified route throughout town.  This type of vehicle currently operates in Wilmington, Raleigh and Charlotte. The Town’s current ordinance allows for the operation of taxi cabs, private bus services, rickshaws and pedicabs, but does not address a commercial vehicle that is propelled by multiple passengers not including the operator."

Hardison explained, "Staff has drafted an ordinance to address the allowance of a “Commercial Pedal Vehicle” that is a non-motorized device with four wheels steering for a forward seat driver, 8-16 passenger saddle seats, and pedals by which the device may be propelled upon a street at low speed.  Any proposed Commercial Pedal Vehicle would need to be approved by Town Council. The ordinance would address operating hours, route approval, addresses the consumption of alcohol, and safety concerns. The vehicle is constructed with a low running board, built in coolers, and a bar at which passenger sit and peddle, and are allowed to consume beer and wine, which they must provide themselves."

Hardison explained that State laws do not prohibit the consumption of alcohol for passengers of this type of vehicle. He explained, "The operation of this type of vehicle does not violate the state’s impaired driving laws because the drinkers aren’t drivers. They simply provide the power. They don’t steer, and they aren’t in physical control of the vehicle. The driver is an employee of the business and is not allowed to consume any alcohol. While state law prohibits passengers from consuming alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of a motor vehicle that is being driven on a public street, an exception applies for motor vehicles designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation."

Hardison said the Town's Code of Ordinances would have to be amended because it currently prohibits the possession and consumption of beer and wine in the manner proposed.

He explained, "However, the possession and consumption of beer and wine would violate the town’s open container laws.  The proposed amendment to the town’s open container laws will allow passengers aboard a Commercial Pedal Vehicle business that has been approved by town council to possess and consume beer and unfortified wine."

The Police Advisory Committee reviewed the proposal and recommended approval for the allowance to provide tours while consuming alcohol  on a Commercial Pedal Vehicle, but they had some concerns.

The Committee recommended that customer meeting space and loading areas should take place on private property and that tours should take place on side streets rather than on the busier major thoroughfares of Lake Park Blvd and Dow Road.

A public hearing will be held during the February 13th, meeting where Council will hear input from citizens.

The proposal calls for establishing a permit process for pedal powered tours as well as conditions such as operating between the hours of 7 or 8am and 12 midnight.

The proposed routes vary depending on the time of year with stops at various establishments such as Nollies Taco Joint, the Fat Pelican, Island Beverage and others. The applicant also proposes tours of the Carolina Beach State Park off Dow Road, but notes that no alcohol will be permitted on those tours. The park doesn't permit alcohol.

Tours are expected to last upwards of two hours for corporate gatherings, birthday parties, Bachelor/Bachelorette parties, and local restaurant and bar tours.

The Council will consider the request following a public hearing at their February 13th, meeting at 6:30 PM at Town Hall in the Council meeting room.

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