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New policy will allow alcohol in certain county parks
Eagle's Beak
Eagle's Beak Park

A new permit will allow for events with alcohol at two Forsyth County parks.

Forsyth County commissioners approved a new policy to allow pre-approved events with alcoholic beverages at Eagle’s Beak Park in northeast Forsyth and Chattahoochee Pointe Park at a regular meeting on Thursday. Such events are already allowed at the Sawnee Mountain Visitor Center.

“What this does is make a very limited accommodation for there to be certain special events at three county parks that would allow on a per permit basis for the introduction of alcohol into the parks,” said County Attorney Ken Jarrard. “It is important to recognize alcohol is not permitted on county property except for the very narrow exceptions we are making.”

The policy could open doors for music festivals, art festivals, charities and other events. 

Having an event with alcohol will have a special fee in addition to the regular fee to use the parks. The fees are a $500 deposit and $250 for events with less than 500 people and $500 for events with more than 500.

A special event permit from the county’s planning department will also be required.

The parks chosen are all passive parks, or parks more focused on walking trails and natural amenities rather than active parks with ballfields, recreation centers and more children.

The new rules will not supersede local, state or federal laws. 

At a previous meeting, parks director Jim Pryor said no permits have been given in the five years alcohol has been allowed at the Sawnee Mountain center.

Previously, the county considered the permits only for Eagle’s Beak, before deciding to include Chattahoochee Pointe.

At Thursday’s meeting, some residents living around Chattahoochee Pointe raised some possible issues with events, including the potential for people driving under the influence.

“In that area, there are kids playing, and that road goes through our subdivision,” said Naveen Budda. “All it takes is one event … for something we’re all going to regret.”