City Council Members Urge Moratorium On Amending Liquor Store Locations

City Council members Eneida Martinez and Jose Casco have submitted a resolution calling for the legislative body to place a 180-day moratorium on the Planning and Zoning Commission reducing the 1,500-foot rule for proposed package stores from houses of worship, schools, hospitals and commercial daycare centers, a hot issue that was deferred at the latest P&Z meeting with dozens of opposing package store owners in attendance. For background see here.

A majority of the 20-member City Council oppose reducing the 1,500-foot rule. The resolution calls for the Ordinance Committee to study “all aspects of the issues and concerns raised by the community” to develop an ordinance.


WHEREAS, the Planning and Zoning Commission(PZC) has incorporated into its Zoning and Subdivision Regulations Section 12-10a and Section 12-lOb (see attachment) a requirement that there be a 1500 foot radius for a package store permit; and

WHEREAS, there is currently before the PZC a petition seeking to amend these sections and reduce the 1500 foot distance from houses of worship, schools, hospitals and commercial daycare centers requirement for proposed package stores (see attached Agenda for March 7th Meeting of PZC in regards D-1, 16-03); and

WHEREAS, there has been considerable public concern expressed on the impact on community quality of life and safety if these proposed changes or variances are allowed to go into effect; and

WHEREAS, while any requested change in the 1500 foot radius rule is subject to review by the PZC we believe that due to the exceptional public concern that the City Council has heard expressed about the proposed changes or variances that the issues be thoroughly reviewed by the City Council Committee on Ordinances; and

WHEREAS, the Committee on Ordinances should review the issues and community concerns with an eye on the feasibility of the creation of a City Ordinance that addresses all the issues and concerns surrounding the 1500 foot requirement and make recommendations on changes to the Code of Ordinances that addresses them; and

WHEREAS, a Moratorium of 180 days be placed on the PZC making any changes to its Zoning Regulations as amended October 26,2015 concerning Section 12-10a and 12-10b or issuing any variances to those sections; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council hereby requests that a 180 day Moratorium be placed on the Planning and Zoning Commission making any changes to Sections 12-10a and 12-10b or issuing any variances to those sections and further that the Committee on Ordinances study all aspects of the issues and concerns raised by the community, determine the feasibility of creating a City Ordinance that addresses those concerns, and report back to the City Council with any recommendations.



  1. A moratorium is a good start to end a bad bill. Here’s why:
    Optimizing the 1500-feet rule would only reshuffle the location of liquor stores without eliminating their impact or number. This sounds like “liquor store gerrymandering” by legislative decree and I’m glad this bill faces opposition. It’s not criminal but this law is illegal!
    (judicial thud)

  2. *** Moratorium for what, just vote “no!” The present ordinance is not broke so needs “no” fixing. Do what’s morally right for a change, instead of doing things merely for sin money! ***

  3. Political expediency is alive and well on the City Council. C’mon people, vote it up or vote it down. Doing what’s right is never easy and very seldom popular.

  4. A resolution is merely a communication that could take weeks to travel through the process of ‘review’ and vote. Maybe they will request immediate consideration and add it to the consent calendar. Brilliant! Mojo is correct. What is the purpose of a moratorium? Urge P&Z to vote it up or down. I wonder how the esteemed members of the city council who provided letters of support originally would vote.

  5. I commend Eneida and Jose for offering up this resolution and let’s see where it goes. They are bucking the wishes of the Town Chair. Will the majority of the council at least support them on a moratorium?
    The armchair council members who sit on the OIB council can say all that they want but I think it is a significant move away from the pack mentality we are used to.


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