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City of Marion to Look Into Uptown Ordinance

MARION IA, (CBS 2/FOX 28)--The Marion City Council is considering an amendment to an old ordinance in the uptown section of the city.

Tomorrow the council will hold a public hearing to decide if businesses located close to churches can serve alcohol.

Uptown Marion, it's an example of the rapid growth of the city and with that comes change. This time concerning alcohol.

"The petition came forward in December requesting the change. Staff presented it to the city council, said Tom Treharne, Director of Marion Planning and Development.

A local business owner started the petition.

He wants to add a small Kraft brewery to his business without having to worry about its proximity to the churches.

The current code requires at least 200 feet between business that serve alcohol and any religious institution.

"From a mapping perspective, the churches limit a lot of towns in there from the serving of alcohol, said Treharne, but the people behind the petition want that changed.

Meaning businesses that serve alcohol in the uptown area can be adjacent to a church.

One pastor we spoke with says that's just fine.

"With alcohol it's a little bit easier to pick on that because it's more public, said Jeff Meyer, pastor at Keystone Church.

Jeff Meyer is a pastor at Keystone church which is located in uptown Marion.

He says while he understands why having a bar nearby might be an issue for could also be a great opportunity.

"We have a call as Christians to evangelize the lost. That's not just easy lost people. Thats everybody, he said.

Businesses that serve alcohol are still required to be 200 feet away from a school.

The city will hold a public meeting tomorrow night at 7 pm and citizens are encouraged to stop by and give their input.
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