Denver Parks and Recreation considering loosening limits on alcohol use at parks

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DENVER -- Denver Parks and Recreation is asking for the public's input as it explores the idea of making changes to its policy regarding alcohol sales at parks.

Starting in 2019, state law will no longer require a designation of 3.2 percent beer being consumed in parks and open spaces.

In response to that change, Denver Parks and Recreation said it's analyzing its alcohol policy and determine if there are other ways to improve its existing alcohol policy.

Under Denver Parks and Recreation's existing rules, only certain types of alcohol are allowed at permitted events at certain parks.

On its website, the department called the current alcohol policy "overly complicated and inconsistent."

The proposed changes would allow for all types of alcohol to be sold and served at permitted events at parks, and all parks would be able to host permitted events where alcohol could be served.

Cindy Johnstone of Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation said she and other leaders are strongly opposed to the potential changes.

Johnstone said the selling and serving of all types of alcohol at permitted events will lead to a "multitude of potential problems."

"I don’t think people in Denver understand how far reaching this change will be," Johnstone said.

Johnstone said allowing hard alcohol sales at permitted events at parks will detract from the experience for other users not partaking in drinking.

She also said parents are concerned about having their children in parks when this is happening.

"I am surprised by this. I don’t know the motivation," Johnstone said.

The public can share their thoughts on the proposed changes at a meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Washington Street Community Center.

Community members can also participate in a survey. The survey takes 10 minutes and will close Friday.

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