It’s been a spirited debate for sure the past two years as the city navigates zoning regulations for liquor establishment proximity. Two principals in this battle, liquor store applicant Michael DeFilippo and Zoning Commissioner Anne Pappas Phillips, will also face off once again in a four-way Democratic primary for City Council in a North End district on April 10.
DeFilippo and incumbent Jeanette Herron versus Phillips and former State Rep. Bob Keeley are back on the campaign trail after a court-ordered third primary following claims of absentee ballot fraud. It’s not often you campaign through parts of four seasons for City Council seats, but that’s the case in this extraordinary set of circumstances. The top two vote producers among the four go on to the general election.
Meanwhile, City Planning Director Lynn Haig hopes an outside consultant’s expertise will shape liquor store regulations sanguine to zoning commissioners. As CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart writes, Haig “hoped those changes would be made, and the outside consultant hired, in time for the Zoning Commission to again take up her proposal at its Feb. 26 meeting.”
The city’s bid to rewrite zoning rules governing the sale of liquor, particularly around schools and other so-called “sensitive uses,” has become so controversial that the planning department is seeking a consultant’s perspective.
“We’re looking to have outside independent eyes with the technical expertise in zoning look at my proposal,” said Planning Director Lynn Haig this week. “We think we’ve crafted solid, strong regulations and we want an outside, independent look to verify that.”
Haig added: “It’s (the changes) just received so much visibility, so much more attention than any of the other zoning matters that we work on.”
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