The Telluride City Council took care of some household chores during a Tuesday morning business session, reviewing state-level liquor code changes and discussing the impact of those changes on the laws. local in books.
Telluride City Clerk Tiffany Kavanaugh led council through these changes, starting with alcohol training for licensees. Currently, the city requires owners, managers and special event managers to complete an alcohol education course every three years. New licensees must complete training within one year of obtaining a license. However, the state’s recently amended liquor code requires training to occur every two years and within 90 days for new licensees.
Additionally, the alcoholic beverage training course typically offered locally – TIPS Certification – is not recognized by the state as an approved training program for responsible vendors, although TIPS bills itself as the “Gold Standard”. for Responsible Beverage Service Training. Kavanaugh pointed out that there is a selection of state-approved interactive online courses that are happening with greater frequency.
“Usually (the class is a) hybrid model and the instructor has to be on camera and able to see all the students in the class and it’s really interactive as opposed to TIPS training which was just kind of a PowerPoint presentation and then people answered the questions at the end and got certified,” Kavanaugh said. “People who complete that would be part of this state-level responsible vendor training program.”
Council members, who attended both virtually and in council chambers at Rebekah Hall, unanimously agreed to align local codes regarding server training with those at the state level.
“It’s now even easier for people to take the training because it’s available online, whereas TIPS classes used to only take place once in a while,” said Mayor DeLanie Young.
Next, the council reviewed laws passed by the state in 2020 that were designed to help bars and restaurants when indoor attendance was limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivery and delivery permit laws are due to expire in 2025, Kavanaugh explained. While it’s unclear whether the arrangements will be extended beyond 2025, Kavanaugh told council they may adopt a local permitting process.
“The state code provision allows the local authority to approve a local permit process for pick-up and delivery permits,” she said. “Speaking to state clerks, it doesn’t sound like many municipalities are going to require a local permitting process just because of the temporary nature of the program which is supposed to expire in 2025. But I wanted council to know that it is an option.
Currently, liquor license holders file these licenses with the state, and local authorities do not currently receive copies of these licenses. Kavanaugh said his department recommended those copies be accepted by the board. Additionally, those selling take-out drinks will still need to ensure cups have lids and visible stickers are affixed to each drink for legal consumption in designated drinking areas.
Next, the common dining rooms were discussed. Kavanaugh refreshed the advice on the state codes in question.
“You may recall that in 2020 these communal dining rooms were created, which allows two or more liquor establishments to essentially participate in a communal dining room and mix alcohol,” said she declared. “This requires that one or more of these participating licensees employ a security officer in this area at all times. That’s why I don’t know if we’ll see this in town or not, because the staff is already a problem. But there may be a time when we do and so it’s legal now for these communal dining areas to happen.
Young pointed out that any current licensee interested in sharing dining rooms would have to go through different stages.
“Anyone listening who owns a licensed liquor establishment, if you intend to potentially share an outdoor dining area and bar and want to do it with another entity, there is everything a set of rules about it. So don’t go in for your own sake,” she said.
Kavanaugh elaborated further.
“If someone were to request it, it would go through the modification of the Approved Premises application,” she explained. “So our local licensing authority would have to review and approve that and then they would be required to submit a control plan as part of that and the control plan would also be reviewed and approved by our licensing authority.”
Tastings that take place in liquor retail establishments are currently permitted, but in 2004, when tastings were first permitted by the state, the city council chose not to require a process. authorization. Kavanaugh wondered if today’s council would like to see an application process for tastings.
“It’s unusual not to have an application process,” she said. “At a minimum, people (elsewhere) are requiring retail liquor stores to submit all of their certifications, training certifications of the servers who will be providing these tastings, and then keep a log on an annual basis with an annual application.”
The council was unanimous in letting licensed liquor establishments continue to hold tastings without adding to the city clerk’s workload, especially since there were no reported issues with them, according to the Department of Marshal of Telluride.
“I’m OK being unusual,” said council member Dan Enright. “And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
A new state law that would allow outside liquor license holders to withdraw a so-called festival permit “from the state’s licensing authority, and sell and serve alcoholic beverages at a place (public or private property), other than the licensee’s licensed premises, which allows one or more licensees to participate in or jointly sponsor a festival, each participant being authorized to sell and serve alcoholic beverages at a location other than its licensed premises,” according to Kavanaugh’s memo to the board.
Staff questioned whether a local permitting process should be put in place, but some council members were more interested in opting out altogether, if possible. The current city code requires that, on city property, special event licenses drawn for the sale of liquor meet the requirement that 100% of proceeds be donated to a local nonprofit organization or regional. City attorney Kevin Geiger said he needs to determine whether the city can opt out of the new state license category entirely. Most council members agreed that they would not want festival permits used on city property at all, but would consider allowing them on private property. City staff will investigate the city’s legal options and report back at an upcoming council meeting.