New Law Allows for Permanent Social District in Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed legislation into law that allows for municipalities to set operating hours for social districts. The law also eliminates the sunset (expiration date) on social district permits.

What is a social district?

A social district is a public area designated by a municipality where licensed businesses can sell alcoholic beverages to be enjoyed by customers outdoors.

Once a municipality creates a social district, business owners in the district may attempt to become licensed sellers by seeking approval from their municipalities and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

Municipalities throughout Michigan have created social districts, which may include live music and markets on specific days.

Social districts were initially created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing bars and restaurants the ability to serve additional customers in outdoor settings.

New legislation

The new legislation revises provisions of the Michigan Liquor Control code pertaining to social districts to authorize local government units to set operating hours. In addition, the law ends the 2025 sunset on social district permits, thus allowing social districts to continue going forward.

Help is available

The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are ready to answer your questions regarding Michigan social districts. To contact an attorney, call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Municipal, Uncategorized