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Council approves plan for community entertainment districts

Toledo City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved plans to establish seven new community entertainment districts in an effort to bring more business and attract more residents to the downtown area.

The districts are designated areas that will open the door for more liquor licensing and allow for a mix of entertainment, retail, social, and cultural to further develop in downtown Toledo.

The seven new districts will join the Lowertown community entertainment district along North Summit Street, which was approved in 2021. The Northern, Central Business, and Midtown districts will cover Toledo’s main downtown blocks. The Warehouse and Middlegrounds districts will cover the areas just to the south of downtown. The Eastern District will encompass Glass City Metropark and the Uptown District will cover the downtown blocks along I-75.

“I just wanted to thank my colleagues for pushing our community forward and our economy forward with the community entertainment district,” said Councilman Vanice Williams whose District 4 is in the central city. “That was a great move by this council in doing so, because this definitely grows our city more and it will attract more businesses.”

The state of Ohio allows one liquor license per five acres in such districts. Each district being more than 75 acres allows the city to take advantage of the maximum of 15 liquor licenses that are allowed per district.

Council also approved to accept annual federal funding for multiple grants that will provide money to support stable housing and housing improvements in Toledo. The vote was to accept three grants: the community development block grant, the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and the emergency solutions grant to help the homeless.

Councilman Katie Moline asked to wait on the vote because she was still waiting to receive financial reports of the programs.

“We’re looking at over $13 million,” she said. “I believe that transparency is the most important, especially when we are deliberating on federal funds of this magnitude.”

Council voted to move ahead despite the concerns of Ms. Moline and Councilman Theresa Gadus, who also voted “no” on immediately taking a vote on the issue. Once the votes were held, all three ordinances were passed unanimously.


Posted By: The Toledo Blade on April 12, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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