Hartland Ice House Liquor License Approved by Township
After a public hearing, the Hartland Township board approved the license by a 6-1 vote.
The Hartland Township Board of Trustees voted 6-1 to approve a resolution granting a Tavern liquor license, which allows only beer and wine to be served, to the Hartland Ice House. Treasurer Kathie Horning was the only dissenting vote.
The request will now be sent to the Liquor Control Commission in Lansing, which will make the final decision at the state level to authorize the liquor license to the restaurant inside the sports complex.
The board voted in November to publish a notice of intent to make a new liquor license available, the first new liquor license the township has been able to offer since 2006.
Mark Schaffer, owner of the Hartland Sports Center and also the Kensington Valley Ice House in Brighton Township, applied for the license that would allow his restaurant located in the sports complex that also includes the gymnastic facility, Bounce, to serve alcohol to its patrons.
During the public hearing that took place before the vote, several local residents voiced their concerns about allowing alcohol in a setting that involves children and family activities.
“As a Hartland resident I am totally against it,” Peggy Storey said. “The difference in a restaurant is that there are a lot of restaurants you can choose from, you can choose to go to one that has alcohol or not. But with the ice house, there’s not ten ice houses I can choose from around here, so if I am going to have my child participate in hockey, I either go where there’s alcohol or I drive a long distance away to find an alternative. I think that that would be unfortunate for the children to be exposed to because that’s our only option in the area to go to.”
Supervisor Bill Fountain explained that according to high school rules, no alcohol will be served during school sponsored events.
“There are rules and regulations when there is a high school event or a school-sponsored event, the agreement or arrangement is worked out with the owner of that said license," he said. "It’s my understanding that its not allowed to be served during those sporting events.”
Schaffer also explained that the small restaurant is located on the second floor and although has a view of the ice, is separated from the rest of the building.
“You do have the luxury to view the hockey games from up above,” he said explaining there was a full-service concession stand on the first floor that provides the same food without the alcohol and without having to enter the restaurant area.
Another concern brought up by board member Joe Colaianne was the issue of parking and the limited spaces available at the Hartland Sports Center.
“There’s always been an issue with this particular site and I don’t think there’s any place to build any more parking lots,” Colaianne said. “And now you’re going to add an element where you may end up have people lingering around and I can’t imagine how this can be a good thing in terms of parking?”
Schaffer explained that he felt there was plenty of parking, especially along the sides of the building since many patrons tend to fill up the front parking lot first.