Learn more about the Legislation

Reduce Alcohol Outlet Density

STEP 1: Phase Out of Residential Liquor Stores

License Type: Class A

  • There are roughly 100 nonconforming liquor stores operating in residential areas
  • Commonly referred to as packaged good stores where alcohol is consumed off-premise only.
  • Within 2 years of adoption, nonconforming Class A licenses must end sales of alcohol or transfer their license to a properly-zoned location in a business district.
  • Business owners may request a hardship waiver, receiving an additional 2 years to adhere to the law, but must cease alcohol sales during that time.

STEP 2: Compliance with Tavern Definition

License Type: Class BD-7

  • Commonly referred to as taverns.
  • BD-7 liquor licenses are permitted to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on-and-off-site from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.
  • The new code requires that all taverns dedicate at least 50% of their sales and floor to on-site consumption to ensure they operate as a true tavern and not merely a packaged good store.

STEP 3: Set Distance Standards

  • In the proposed zoning code, new liquor stores will not be permitted within 300 feet of existing liquor stores with the exception of downtown.
  • Current law already prohibits alcohol outlets within 300 feet of a church or school


Zoning and Liquor Outlet Density

TransForm Baltimore, Baltimore City’s zoning code rewrite, can improve the health, safety and quality of our neighborhoods.

Zoning is a planning tool that enables communities to shape their  future by determining how private land can be used. One feature zoning regulates is where alcohol outlets can be placed.

Zoning codes dictate which zoning districts allow or prohibit alcohol sales (while the liquor license itself is regulated by a separate agency).