Downtown Arts, Culture, and Entertainment District


Heritage District FountainPotential Benefits of a Downtown Arts, Culture, and Entertainment District
  • Reduces State Regulation on Town Re- Development Activities
  • Provides a Policy Tool to Help Activate the Heritage District
  • Will Allow for Case-by-Case Review
  • Opportunity to Create a Full Service Downtown

Policy Information

Last Updated 06/11/2013
What is the Downtown Arts, Culture & Entertainment District?On April 26, 2010 the State Legislature approved HB 2596 which allows for Cities to designate an entertainment district - defined as an area with a significant number of Entertainment, Artistic and Cultural Venues, including Music Halls, Concert Facilities, Theaters, Arenas, Stadiums, Museums, Studios, Galleries, Restaurants, Bars and other related facilities. The Entertainment District is a specific area designated by resolution by the Town Council wherein which certain liquor licenses may be granted at locations within 300' of a church or school. (ARS §4-207)

What is the purpose of the Arts, Culture & Entertainment District?
The purpose is to give municipalities flexibility in permitting certain types of liquor licenses to locate within 300 horizontal feet of a church or public or private school. Currently some liquor licenses such as those for Restaurants and Hotels/Motels are permitted by State law to locate next to any church or school throughout the Town. Arizona State law allows for Town Council, on a case by case basis, to approve the location of additional types of liquor licenses within 300' of churches or public or private schools if they are located in an "Entertainment District".

Does this change zoning or permitted uses?

No. It is not zoning and does not affect uses permitted in the Heritage district.

What are the benefits of an Arts, Culture & Entertainment District?

Having an Entertainment District designation provides more local flexibility to what kinds of liquor licenses can locate next to churches or public and private schools, including charter schools. The district provides options for the development of businesses downtown, vacant buildings and areas that have been hard to revitalize due to the current restrictions. New development could assist Gilbert in creating a "Full-Service Downtown". New business ventures such as grocery stores, wine bars, and vendors are now possible on a case by case exemption process that only the Town can grant, whereas the State cannot.
What is the process for getting this approval from Mayor and Council?

Any person seeking a liquor license would follow the normal procedure - this does not interfere with any aspect

Related Documents

Open House, June 17, 2013:

Map of Proposed Gilbert Heritage District Area "Arts, Culture, and Entertainment District"