By Molly Cerreta Smith

It’s wine time in the City of Scottsdale! At its January 21 meeting at City Hall City, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 4437, which amends city code to allow wine consumption throughout facilities at the City of Scottsdale’s Parks and Recreation Department around the community.

Reed Pryor, Parks and Recreation director and Nick Molinari, Parks and Recreation manager authored a report to the City Council that outlines the fact that beer consumption is currently allowed but (until now) wine consumption has been prohibited by state law.

The report reads: “The City of Scottsdale currently allows the consumption of beer in Scottsdale parks with the purchase of a permit. Beer is permitted to be consumed in cans or kegs only, with glass bottles prohibited in all Scottsdale parks. Presently, beer is the only alcohol that Scottsdale permits within our parks system due to state liquor law restrictions that were in effect the last time the Scottsdale park rules changed.”
Throughout 2018-19 fiscal year, officials report that the Scottsdale Parks and Recreation Department issued 707 beer permits, and City Parks officials reported that the Arizona Legislature changed state law allowing people to “consume wine from a broken package” in public recreation areas with the permission of the property owner.

The report to council stated that “[t]his change went into effect on August 27, 2019 as House Bill 2281 from the 2019 state legislative session. Prior to the passage of HB 2281, state law only allowed people to consume beer from a broken package in public recreation areas with the permission of the property owner.”

Chapter 20, Article III of Scottsdale City Code was amended to allow permitted wine drinking beginning on the first of this month. Officials report the amendment also defines the cost of “beer and wine permits” as $15 according to the Community Services Fees and Charges adopted by City Council.

In effect, Ordinance No. 4437 changes the fact that there is no formal application for a permit. Any language referring to an “application” is being changed to a “request” and that the city will not request or store personal identification information.

Parks and Recreation officials also reported that the Scottsdale Police Department does not anticipate impact to public safety. So let’s raise a glass to Scottsdale… and let them drink wine!