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Council introduces liquor ordinance

Tim Willert

GLENDALE CITY HALL -- A proposed ordinance that would give the city

more control over the sale and consumption of alcohol failed to generate

much debate Tuesday.

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After hearing from two speakers, the City Council introduced the

ordinance, which would require new downtown businesses to get

conditional-use permits before they can begin selling alcohol.

Under the ordinance, a permit also would be required to sell packaged

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liquor, except at supermarkets. Existing businesses would not be affected

by the ordinance unless they expand.

“I think it is a good idea because it gives the police some tools to

be able to make sure that neighborhoods are not impacted by clubs or

establishments that don’t keep a good tab on their customers,” Mayor Gus

Gomez said.

Rather than mandate required parking, the ordinance was modified so

that alternative parking arrangements -- public parking garages or lots

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-- could be considered when issuing a permit.

Also, if an existing business has its state license suspended or

revoked, it would be required to obtain a permit.

The proposed ordinance is intended to give the city more say over who

sells alcohol by transferring control from the state to the local level.

“We want to put some local land-use control into the issue of

alcoholic beverages rather than relying on the state agency,” Assistant

Planning Director Jim Glaser said.

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The city presently requires conditional-use permits to serve alcohol

in commercial zones, except within the central business district, which

has the highest concentration of state liquor licenses in the city.

According to the proposed ordinance, new banquet halls and nightclubs,

including parking areas, must be set back 200 feet from residential

zones.

“I think I might be interested in extending it, say, 300 feet,”

Councilman Frank Quintero said. “It seems like 200 feet is awfully

close.”

Glaser said 200 feet would be difficult to extend because of close

spatial relationships between residential and commercial zones,

particularly in the downtown commercial district.

“I’m glad to see some steps are being taken to control the further

issuance of licenses,” resident Margaret Hammond told the council. “I

think it does make for a better community to have control on this sort of

thing.”

Representative from four city departments -- planning, redevelopment,

community development, housing and police -- worked together in

developing the ordinance.


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