Dublin City Council unanimously approves DORAs for historic district, Bridge Park

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

The first Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas in Dublin are official after Dublin City Council unanimously approved it April 26. 

The vote follows council action March 8 to authorize City Manager Dana McDaniel to file a DORA application with the state of Ohio. 

The state’s DORA program allows municipalities to establish specific times and boundaries for sites where the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages are permitted in outdoor public rights of way. 

This map illustrates the boundaries of the two DORA districts in Dublin.

Several central Ohio cities have DORAs, including Delaware, Gahanna, Hilliard, Powell and Worthington. Bexley also approved DORA legislation April 27. 

The hours and dates for the DORA in Dublin are from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, said Lindsay Weisenauer, public-affairs officer for the city. 

The start date for the DORA has not been determined and is contingent on the state of Ohio issuing DORA-designation letters to current permit-holders within the DORA district, Weisenauer said April 29.

But officials have previously indicated it will begin sooner rather than later.

The pilot DORAs would begin “as soon as feasible in May” and run through August, according to a city memo prepared by Deputy City Manager Megan O’Callaghan, law director Jennifer Readler and community-events director Alison LeRoy.

The authorizing legislation establishes two DORA districts in Dublin, one in the city’s historic district on the west side of the Scioto River and another in the Bridge Park development on the east side of the riverbank. 

Weisenauer said the boundaries of each DORA listed as addresses on the application.  

In Bridge Park, DORA boundaries will be 6544 Longshore Loop from 6554 to 6791 Longshore St., 6520 to 6770 Riverside Drive and 4475 to 4595 Bridge Park Ave. 

In Historic Dublin, the boundaries will be from 8 to 16 E. Bridge St., 1 to 65 W. Bridge St., 6 to 138 S. High St., 3 to 108 N. High St., 34 to 36 Franklin St., 24 to 37 Darby St. and 20 North St. 

Boundaries will be marked by signs when the DORAs are active. 

According to a memo prepared by Deputy City Manager Megan O’Callaghan, Law Director Jennifer Readler and Community Events Director Alison LeRoy, city officials will provide a comprehensive review and assessment of the DORAs at City Council’s Aug. 30 meeting. 

Dublin officials held a virtual public information meeting March 3 to gather feedback about the DORA proposal. The results of that session were included in a March 8 report to council. 

According to the findings LeRoy presented, only 4% of 204 people “registered disapproval” of the proposed DORAs. The survey showed 33% “expressed approval” and the remainder registered for the virtual meeting with no input or “expressed questions.” 

Scott Dring, president and CEO of Visit Dublin, said he expects the DORAs to be a success and continue the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’re excited and appreciative of Dublin City Council approving (a DORA),” he said. “It will not only be a tremendous boost for downtown Dublin restaurants and retail but will be a critical component in the recovery of Dublin’s hospitality industry. 

“Our research indicates that DORAs around the state of Ohio have attracted visitors and revenue to communities that will play a vital role as we come out of the pandemic." 

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekCorvo