Sparks City Council Meeting 9/23/2019 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, September 23, 2019 2:00 PM
    Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg, 745 4th Street, Sparks, NV

General Business: 9.9

Title: FIRST READING of Bill No. 2765, amending Chapter 5.28 of the Sparks Municipal Code by adding thereto provisions allowing some alcoholic beverage licensees to fill growlers and crowlers; allowing alcohol service by caterers; and providing other matters properly related thereto.
Petitioner/Presenter: Neil Krutz, City Manager/Alyson McCormick, Assistant City Attorney
Recommendation: Staff recommends that the City Council instruct the City Clerk to read the First Reading of Bill No. 2765 by title on September 23, 2019, and thereafter publish notice of a Second Reading and public hearing of Bill No. 2765 for consideration and possible approval on October 14, 2019.
Financial Impact: N/A
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required. This is a rule but does not impose a direct and significant economic burden on a business, or directly restrict the formation, operation or exemption of a business.
Agenda Item Brief:

This is the First Reading of Bill No. 2765. If approved at a future meeting, Bill No. 2765 would expand the abilities of businesses to sell alcoholic beverages in Sparks by creating two new alcoholic beverage license types. First, a growler license will allow any establishment licensed to sell beer for on-premises consumption or at retail to fill growlers. Second, a caterer's alcoholic beverage license will allow a licensed caterer to sell and serve alcoholic beverages at events at various locations where the caterer is serving food. 


At the August 12, 2019 City Council meeting, staff received direction to explore changes to the Sparks Municipal Code that would allow bars and pubs to fill growlers and crowlers. A growler is a refillable, resealable bottle or jug used to carry beer. Growlers are typically 64 ounces, but there is some variation in growlers' sizes. A crowler is a 32-ounce metal can that is filled with beer, mechanically sealed, and opened with a tab just like a soda can. As craft beer has grown in popularity, the popularity of growlers and crowlers has also grown, and staff has received inquiries from several businesses about their abilities to fill growlers.

Sparks Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 5.28 governs alcoholic beverage licenses. Various provisions of SMC Chapter 5.28 permit the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the licensed premises or in "packages." SMC 5.28.010(O) defines "package" as "any immediate container of an alcoholic beverage which is filled or packaged by the manufacturer or bottler thereof for sale by such manufacturer or bottler." Only a holder of a manufacturer's license is permitted to bottle alcoholic beverages. SMC 5.28.030. Because filling a growler or crowler constitutes bottling an alcoholic beverage, only licensed alcoholic beverage manufacturers may fill growlers or crowlers under existing ordinances.

Staff has also received inquiries from catering businesses about serving alcohol at catered events. The existing alcoholic beverage licenses in SMC Chapter 5.28 are tied to specific locations, meaning that caterers who serve events at various locations cannot legally serve alcohol under current ordinances. 


If approved, Bill No. 2765 would fill both of these gaps in the City's alcoholic beverage licensing scheme, allowing businesses to adapt to these changing trends in alcohol sales and service. 

Section 2 of the Bill would create a new "growler license," which would only be available to holders of other alcoholic beverage licenses that permit on-premises or package sales of alcoholic beverages. Bars, restaurants, or grocery stores licensed to serve or sell beer at retail could obtain growler licenses, allowing those businesses to sell beer in growlers or crowlers. Licensed manufacturers would be exempt from the new growler license requirement. In other words, creating the new growler license would have no impact on manufacturers' existing ability to fill growlers and crowlers while also allowing other alcoholic beverage licensees to obtain growler licenses to fill growlers and crowlers.

Section 3 of the Bill would create a new "caterer's alcoholic beverage license," allowing licensed caterers to serve alcohol along with food at catered events. Holders of such licenses would be required to comply with all other licensing requirements, such as obtaining a City business license. In addition, bartenders working for caterers would be required to obtain work permits, just like bartenders in establishments with fixed locations. Creating this new license type would allow caterers to serve alcohol while also requiring that individuals serving alcohol at catered events be qualified to do so.

Section 1 adds definitions of the words "growler," "crowler," and "caterer" to SMC 5.28.010. Section 1 also amends the definition of "bartender" to include a person who fills a growler or crowler. Section 4 amends SMC 5.28.280 to establish fees for growler licenses and caterer's alcoholic beverage licenses.

In conclusion, Bill No. 2765 would allow businesses to grow and adapt to changing customer demands while also providing appropriate limitations on sales and service of alcoholic beverages in the City. 


The City Clerk should read the First Reading of the Bill by title on September 3, 2019, and thereafter publish notice of a Second Reading and public hearing of the Bill for consideration and possible approval on October 14, 2019. 

At the Second Reading, City Council could approve Bill No. 2765 as written, amend Bill No. 2765 and approve it with those amendments, or reject Bill No. 2765 in its entirety.

Recommended Motion:

This is the First Reading only; no motion is required.

Attached Files:
     Bill 2765.pdf
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