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City adopts state rule to accomodate pub

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By Lou Elliott Jones

The new owner of Fishbonz would like to convert the former seafood market and eatery into a pub, but the location is posing a conflict that establishments serving alcohol be at least 500 feet from the nearest house of worship — one of several specified places. 

By measuring according to city ordinance — from the property line of the business to the property line of the nearest church, Cedar Key United Methodist Church — the pub is only 333 feet away. 

But when measured according to the state standard — from the front entrance of the business to the front entrance of the church — the separation grows to 613 feet. 

“Obtaining a variance costs a little over $1,000,” said Commissioner Heath Davis. “And our code’s not real clear on the measure. It’s my opinion that we follow state law,”

The commission took the suggestion and voted unanimously to direct the city attorney to draft the change to be considered at a future meeting.