March 1, 2011 update:
I’ve been in contact with Linda Roberts in licensing at the City about this ordinance and she said that the ordinance will be going back to staff for further review.
As background, the latest version of the ordinance that I’ve reviewed includes some of the following changes to establishments outside downtown (emphasis added):
-The City Council may restrict the hours of operation on any proposed outdoor area and may reduce the hours of operation of any existing outdoor area based upon proximity of the area to residential dwelling units, and upon considerations relating to the safety, repose, and welfare of residents, businesses, and other uses near the establishment.
-The City Council may also impose any reasonable and necessary conditions upon the operation of any outdoor area based upon proximity of the area to residential dwelling units, when necessary to preserve the safety, repose, and welfare of residents, businesses, and other uses near the establishment.
-No outdoor area shall utilize any form of sound amplification or outdoor speakers after 10:00pm.
-The license holder shall post in a conspicuous manner in the outdoor area a sign … which informs patrons of the requirement to refrain from creating excessive noise and to respect neighboring residents and property. The sign shall also contain an operating business telephone number that shall be answered during all business hours by a manager or other official of the establishment with the authority to respond to and promptly address complaints regarding the outdoor area.
-Any expansion [whether square footage or in capacity] will require a public hearing and notification.
In addition, the liquor store distance ordinance was passed and included churches.
The Southwest Journal reports that Uptown’s City Council Member, Meg Tuthill, proposed two new ordinances designed to further regulate alcohol sales and the behavior of those drinking in areas outside of Downtown, like Uptown. One proposal would restrict how outdoor bars and patios can operate and the other proposal would increase the effective distance a liquor store could be located from a church or school.
The outdoor bar and patio ordinance apparently would restrict the number of patrons to the number of seats, require patrons to be seated if drinking alcohol, require music to be shut down at 10pm outdoors, require businesses to clean up trash nearby after closing, require signage informing patrons not to make excessive noise, etc.
The other ordinance would change the distance calculation as it relates to the required distance a liquor store must be away from a school or church. Currently, liquor stores cannot be closer than 300 feet of the front door to a school or church. The proposed change would make it 300 feet from a property line of a church or school.
The Southwest Journal mentions that a liquor store is proposed for Uptown at the current US Bank location at 2546 Hennepin Avenue, which is across Hennepin Avenue from Jefferson Elementary School. The school’s property is within 300 feet of the front door of the proposed liquor store but the school doors are beyond 300 feet. The article quotes Tuthill and the proposed liquor store’s owner about the possibility that this ordinance change is the result of his proposal.
These changes were discussed at a City Council committee hearing this week and for the most part hasn’t been on the radar in the Uptown business community. Given that it could impact a number of Uptown businesses, it’ll be interesting to see what, if any, response the potentially impacted businesses will be.
What do you think about these changes?