Alcoholic Beverage Licensing
Licenses for beer, wine, and alcohol sales and service are issued by the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA). However, local jurisdictions play a role in this process, either by certifying whether the proposed licensable activity is allowed under local laws in the desired location, or by endorsing/imposing restrictions on requests for special event licenses or floor-plan extensions for existing licensed businesses.
WVABCA Zoning Forms
The WVABCA requires that applications for Class A and B licenses must include a Zoning Form, completed by the city clerk, confirming that the city has no zoning or other laws prohibiting alcohol sales in the desired location. To ensure that you are using the most up-to-date Zoning Form, please download it from the WVABCA website along with the rest of your license application packet.
These forms do not require council action and can generally be completed by the city clerk while you wait. Prior to issuing this form, the City of Elkins requires that you complete a certification regarding whether or not you plan to operate limited video lottery machines in the given location.
Sometimes, businesses and other entities that are not licensed to sell alcohol may wish to obtain a special event permit allowing them to do so for a limited period of time, while current licensees may wish to obtain temporary floorplan changes, such as to serve alcohol outside or otherwise during special events. Again, please check with the WVABCA concerning all the necessary requirements.
WVABCA will not issue such permits without the endorsement of the local jurisdiction. In addition to endorsing your event, the city may also either require you to alter your event plan (e.g., by requiring security guards, changing access control points, etc.) or impose restrictions in addition to those stipulated by state law (e.g., requiring that you cease sales/conclude your event earlier in the evening than otherwise required by law, such as when adjacent residents might be disturbed by noise, etc.).
How to Obtain a Special Event Letter of Endorsement
To apply for a special event letter of endorsement, please submit your completed WVABCA Special Event License Application to the city clerk. These endorsements require action by council, so please make application in sufficient time for your request to be considered.
Council typically meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month; to have your request on the agenda for a given meeting, the city clerk must have received it no later than the third business day preceding the meeting (for a Thursday meeting, the third preceding business day would usually be that Monday, unless there is an intervening holiday).