By Jessica Mathews /

Another Livingston County community is exploring the creation of a social district.

It allows for outdoor alcohol consumption within a commons area located within designated social boundaries of a downtown area that are mapped out and marked. The districts typically aim to help boost sales for approved participating restaurants, increase downtown foot traffic and drive sales to downtown merchants.

Patrons of participating restaurants and bars within a social district may purchase, carry, and consume an open alcoholic beverage in an approved plastic container bearing the district logo as well as the logo of the business where the beverage was purchased.

The Putnam Township Board of Trustees met Wednesday night and it was stated that the Village of Pinckney is looking into setting up such a district. It could include an area encompassing the community garden, the town square and park and then a block either way from Main Street.

Supervisor Dennis Brennan noted that currently applications involving use of the town square and park area prohibit alcoholic beverages. He said it’s not official written policy but does state so on applications and he wanted to make sure members were on board with the concept. Brennan noted that people cannot bring in their own alcohol, Pinckney Police Chief Jeff Newton is in support and only two businesses would be eligible. He told the board it didn’t seem like a big deal and didn’t have any problem with it so long as everything is controlled with strict guidelines.

Brennan said for example, if someone wanted to get a margarita to go from Go Taco, which is now available, they cannot legally take it over the park - although it really hasn’t stopped people from doing it and enforcement has been somewhat lenient. He said the Village wants to make it legal and he wanted to make sure the board was in agreement with letting the Village know they’re in support of allowing the park to be included in a district if it does come about.

The board unanimously approved a motion to support the concept that would include the Township Square and allow alcoholic beverages to be consumed in the park.

The City of Howell was the first local community to establish a designated social district and officials recently reported that there have not been any problems since inception and it seems to be working out well. The Brighton City Council began looking into the possibility roughly a year ago and recently approved establishing a district although a start date has not been announced.