Blan officials bat around a Drinking Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA)

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — Village officials are debating whether or not they could host a DORA district.

At Thursday’s Blanchester Village Council meeting, the council looked over a “roadmap” on how to establish a drinking outdoor refreshment area (DORA). Village Solicitor Katie Wilkin provided the process to the council and advised what was needed to create this designated drinking area.

Wilkin explained the area would have to cover no more than 150 contiguous areas. The area size is due to Blanchester having less than 35,000 population.

The requirement that drew concerns from officials and citizens was the area “will encompass no fewer than four qualified permit holders.” Wilkin said there are already establishments in the area that have necessary permits.

“Because of our size we can only have one (DORA) area,” said Wilkin.

One citizen asked how would it benefit the village outside those in the area. They were also concerned about if they have four permit holders who fit in the area.

Councilmember Don Gephart advised he didn’t believe they could apply for it. Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt also expressed he didn’t think it was possible for the village to have one.

“It comes right down to brass tacks. The DORA concept is made for uptown Athens where there are ten bars in a three-block extend. It’s not meant for a place like Blanchester,” said Reinbolt.

No decision was made at the meeting but Mayor John Carmen said they need to look more into it.

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574.

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574.