Social district amendment added to Washington’s city code

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2022

At Monday night’s regular City Council meeting, city council members voted (3-2) on the parameters of a social district in downtown. Mayor Pro-Tem Richard Brooks, Councilwoman Lou Hodges and Councilman Mike Renn voted for it. Councilmen William Pitt and Bobby Roberson were the opposing votes. 

A social district is a well defined area where people can consume alcoholic beverages outdoors using cups with logos indicating the drink is from a permitted establishment that participates in the social district. Legislation on social districts passed in the North Carolina General Assembly last year and was amended this year. 

The social district downtown will include portions of Gladden, Main, Market, Second, Water, and Respass Streets and Stewarts Parkway, according to documents from the City of Washington. The social district will operate Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The city’s regulations on the social district and the police department’s plan will need to be sent to the state government for approval which could take 30 days. During that time, the city can order cups, stickers and signage for establishments to use.

Mayor Pro-Tem Richard Brooks led Monday night’s meeting, because Mayor Donald Sadler was absent. Sadler was absent due to his mother’s passing.