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Birmingham Applies for Class C Liquor License at Municipal Golf Courses

Bloomfield Hills residents express concern over speeding drivers, intoxicated golfers at Springdale Golf Course and Park.

Beer and wine at Birmingham's municipal golf courses may become a reality in 2012, as the Birmingham City Commission voted to go ahead and apply for a Class C liquor license for the city's two golf courses at and .

, however Assistant Police Chief Mark Clemence noted that Michigan Liquor Control Commission (LCC) policies dictate that municipalities in counties with a population over a million have to hold Class C liquor licenses.

Clemence said other than the kind of liquor license, everything else on the LCC application remains the same from December. The license the city is applying for is a special subset of the Class C licenses set aside for municipal golf courses that cost around $1,200.

At the Dec. 12 city commission meeting, Jeff Bremer, assistant director of the , said judging from wastebaskets at both courses, golfers are already smuggling beer onto the course.

"We should capitalize on this potential revenue system," he said. "How many of us have grabbed a hot dog or sandwich and a beer after a round of golf, and how many of us have had a beer and a dog before golfing?"

Several commissioners noted that the resolution Monday night simply directs the city to move forward with the liquor license application. Once or if the licenses are obtained, both city commissioners and the parks and recreation board will discuss how to implement the license.

While the vote from commissioners was unanimous, many residents from the neighborhood surrounding the Springdale Golf Course are worried about the traffic the liquor license might attract to the golf course, as well as other troubling consequences.

Currently, the only way to access the Springdale Golf Course is at the end of Strathmore Road in the Bloomfield Estates neighborhood, located north of Big Beaver and east of Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Township.

According to a letter addressed to commissioners from the Bloomfield Estates Improvement Association, all of the subdivision's streets are dirt-covered (with the exception of Strathmore) and lack sidewalks.

"It is challenging enough for mothers pushing baby carriages and children riding bicycles without adding another significant element of danger," the letter reads. "During the golf season we already have to deal with cars speeding to the course to make scheduled tee times. Now we may also have to worry about buzzed or drunk drivers leaving the golf course."

The letter from the Bloomfield Estates association notes that unlike Lincoln Hills, Springdale is a full-service park — with a picnic pavilion and children's playground area — in addition to a golf course.

"Alcoholic beverages are now allowed in the park; therefore, it stands to reason that alcohol does not belong anywhere within this location."

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