Hays City Commission approves Common Consumption Area revision


Tiger Media Network

Hays City Commission approved a revision to the Common Consumption Area Ordinance during Thursday’s meeting.

In Fall 2023, the commission approved a Common Consumption Area (CCA) so that individuals purchasing alcoholic beverages in downtown establishments would be allowed to walk around with those beverages within the determined area. 

The revision allows alcoholic beverages purchased inside or outside the CCA to be allowed at the Union Pacific Park and Pavillion and other areas if approved by the City. 

This revision clears up a conflict in existing ordinances. Throughout Hays, outside alcohol is allowed at public parks. However, within the CCA, only alcohol purchased at establishments within the CCA is allowed. Union Pacific Park and Pavillion is a public park, but it also falls within the CCA. The revision explicitly allows outside alcohol at Union Pacific Park and Pavillion and other city-approved areas.

“This new common consumption area arrangement is a new law, so ABC (alcoholic beverage control) is learning nuances to this as well as the cities, ” Deputy City Manager Collin Bielser said. “We’re the pioneers in this, so other cities like Topeka and Lawrence are looking towards us to figure it out.”

Bielser said he has been in contact with ABC about this change and Downtown Hays Development Corporation to ensure this will not impact DHDC’s annual Brews on the Bricks event.

City Commissioner Alaina Cunningham asked if there would be signage at the park to explain the rules. Bielser said the City would put something up. Cunningham also pointed out that since the Union Pacific Park property extends to Main Street, individuals could technically bring alcohol to parades and watch the parade from that area.

“That is my understanding,” Bielser said. “There’s a lot of ‘what ifs’.”

Cunningham also asked when this revision would go into effect since people will host graduation parties this weekend. The revision goes into effect following the publication of the ordinance on the city website, which will happen before the weekend. 

The revision passed 4-0 with Mayor Shaun Musil abstaining. 

Other actions taken at the meeting:

  • Annexation of property at 4885 General Custer Road
  • Annexation of 24.75 strip of property at 2500 E. 13th St. for USD 489
  • Approval of a general nuisance abatement 

The next commission meeting will be at 4 p.m. on May 23 at City Hall.