Council Update: Alcohol Outlet Density Reduction

In preparation for October’s Hearing, CPHA discussed where Councilman Reisinger and Councilman Stokes fell on Alcohol Outlet Density Reduction, a portion of the pending zoning re-write. CPHA recently checked in again with the two councilmen  regarding the legislation.

Councilman Reisinger:

The Councilman, and Chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee, informed CPHA that, given the large community turnout at the October 3rd hearing, the Land Use and Transportation Committee will likely hold more than one meeting regarding this portion of the legislation. Other pieces of the zoning legislation will likely require less discussion and debate. These meetings will almost certainly not take place until the New Year.

Councilman Reisenger remains supportive of the part of AODR legislation that will ensure taverns start acting like taverns and we still hope he will propose an amendment that will increase the tavern “50/50″ requirement and hold taverns to an even higher standard. While his district is largely unaffected, the Councilman remains undecided on the portion of the legislation that will ask non-conforming packaged goods stores on residential streets to move to a commercial street or stop selling liquor. Councilman Reisenger has said he is open to continued conversation and after taking a trip through the Park Heights community,  the Councilman well understands how saturated some communities are with packaged goods stores . As far as we know he still has no objection to the proposed rule that no new packaged goods license move within 300 feet of an existing license. CPHA will keep the discussion rolling to ensure the Chairman supports the legislation in its entirety.  And we will let you know when the dates of the next meetings are set.

Councilman Stokes:

Seeing the support CPHA has built for the portion of the legislation in East Baltimore, Councilman Stokes agreed to support the part of AODR legislation that will ensure taverns start acting like taverns and the 300 foot rule. The Councilman, however,  continues to respectively suggest that the Class A packaged goods stores should be compensated with City money. CPHA has discussed this with numerous associations in and beyond his district and time and time again we are asked who has compensated the residents that have been surrounded by non-conforming liquor stores for decades. In the opinion of CPHA (and more importantly the opinion of almost all Baltimore constituents) the City cannot  be in the business of buying liquor licenses given these establishments have profited at the community’s expense for years.  They are now being given due process to transform their business into a needed neighbourhood amenity or to sell/move their license to a conforming land use. We will continue our productive discussion with Councilman Stokes in hopes to convince the Councilman to join us in our work on conversions instead of giving more to liquor proprietors at the expense of the community at large.

  • For a review of the facts see our online brochure by clicking here
  • For a comprehensive looks at the non-conforming alcohol outlets in Baltimore, click here and here.
  • For more information on where your representatives stand on alcohol outlet density reduction, click here.
  • For a list of talking points we hope you don’t hear from the City Council click here.
  • To sign a letter informing your City Council representative of your support for this critical portion of the legislation, click here.
  • To learn more about alcohol outlet density in District 13, click here.
  • To learn more about alcohol outlet density in District 7, click here.
  • To learn more about the issue of food deserts in Baltimore, click here.
  • For information about joining CPHA’s AODR Task Force, click here.
  • For information about the TransForm Baltimore and the overall effort to rewrite Baltimore’s zoning code, click here.
  • To learn about our Alcohol Outlet Conversion “Roadmap” click here.


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Michael Snidal

Michael Snidal

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