|The "circles" around a liquor establishment
Density, property owners, and eligible consent
When an applicant who either has a current liquor licensed premise or is proposing to operate a liquor licensed premise makes application with Regulated Industries, the City's ordinances may allow Regulated Industries Division to conduct further investigations about the neighborhood surrounding the applicant's current or proposed premise. If a neighborhood protests a liquor application, it is generally the eligible consenters that have the greatest voice.
An eligible consenter is generally defined as an owner of property which is within a specified radius from a proposed premises. This can include government agencies and officials at times (such as parks land, or state and federal offices). If the property is owned by someone who has any ownership interest or other financial interest in the proposed premises, they are not considered an eligible consenter and the property is not included in calculating the number of required consents.
The following distances are referenced in the ordinance and the purpose of each is as follows:
- 250 - 1500 feet — This measurement is taken from the center of the front door of the existing or proposed premise. All eligible consenters within this radius will receive written notification from Regulated Industries that will explain what the application in question is for. Generally, the applicant must receive written approval from a majority of a minimum of 15 property owners who are eligible consenters within a 250 foot radius of the front door of the currently licensed or proposed premise. If there are fewer than 15 eligible consenters within 250 feet of the front door of the currently licensed or proposed premise, the radius will be increased by segments of 100 feet until the premise is intersected by or within the boundaries of a minimum of 15 property owners who are eligible consenters. The radius will not to exceed 1,500 feet from the center of the front door of the current or proposed liquor licensed premise. (see Section 10-214(a))
- 300 feet — This is the radius that Regulated Industries uses to determine whether a school or church (as further defined by the ordinance) is too close to the proposed liquor establishment. Unlike the other distances, which are measured from the front door, this distance is measured from the closest exterior wall on the proposed liquor premise to the closest exterior wall of any church or school building. (see Section 10-212)
- 350 feet — While property owners who have been identified as eligible consenters within 250 feet may get the opportunity to vote on whether they want to allow an establishment in their neighborhood, a majority of all property owners who have been identified as eligible consenters outside 250 feet but within 350 feet can sign a petition and request a hearing in front of the manager of Regulated Industries Division to explain why they do not want a liquor licensed premise in their neighborhood. It becomes the burden of those who signed the petition to convince the director that approving the license or permit would harm the neighborhood. (see Section 10-214(b))
- 500 - 1500 feet — This measurement has two purposes. First, neighborhood associations within 500 feet are notified of any new or proposed liquor-by-the drink or liquor-by-the package licensed premise that intends to be located within 500 feet of their organization. Second, if an existing liquor-by-the drink licensed premise would like to make application to be open until 3 a.m., they must receive written approval from a majority of a minimum of 30 property owners who are eligible consenters within a 500 foot radius of the front door of the licensed premise. If there are fewer than 30 eligible consenters within 500 feet of the front door of the premise, the radius will be increased by segments of 100 feet until the premise is intersected by or within the boundaries of a minimum of 30 property owners who are eligible consenters. The radius will not to exceed 1,500 feet from the center of the front door of the current or proposed liquor licensed premise. (see Section 10-106(a)(3))
- 3,000 feet — Other than a few exceptions, a liquor licensed premise that will be classified as a retail sales-by-package (package store) premise or a retail sales-by-drink (tavern)premise must meet "density" requirements. Essentially, density requirements limit the number of retail sales-by--package and retail sales-by-drink licenses within a 3,000 foot radius in the city. In these cases, there is generally a limit of one package store or tavern for every 1,500 residents within a 3,000 foot radius as measured from the center of the front door of the proposed premise. (see Section 10-211)