Liquor store ordinance amended by City Council

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 2/12/19

The Cleveland City Council on Monday voted on final passage of an amendment to a city ordinance that removes a cap on the number of liquor licenses that can be issued by the city.In addition, the …

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Liquor store ordinance amended by City Council

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The Cleveland City Council on Monday voted on final passage of an amendment to a city ordinance that removes a cap on the number of liquor licenses that can be issued by the city.

In addition, the city council struck from the ordinance a provision that required that liquor license applicants submit financial statements to the city. 

City Attorney John Kimball advised council members the state still requires financial statements be submitted along with liquor store applications.

In a 6-to-1 vote to remove the cap, the amended ordinance states that "there shall be no cap on the number of local liquor store privilege licenses issued by the City of Cleveland."

"However, once the initial round of local liquor store licenses have been issued by the city on April 18, 2019, then no more local liquor store licenses shall be issued, until and unless the number of liquor store privilege licenses drops below five," the amended ordinance states.

As a result, if the number of licenses drops below five, the city council will accept applications from those seeking to open package stores in the city. However, the issuance of additional liquor store privilege licenses will not exceed five, according to the ordinance.

Councilman Dale Hughes voted against the amended ordinance.

The city council also voted to require survey requirements ensuring that liquor stores are not located within 300 feet of a church or school. No other surveys will be required.

City residents voted to approve a liquor store referendum in November, which will allow package stores to operate for the first time in Cleveland. 

City Manager Joe Fivas told the Cleveland Daily Banner that 19 applications have been picked up, but not yet submitted.

The fee for each application is $1,000, which will pay for background checks and costs to review each application.

After the applications have been received, the city council will schedule additional meetings to listen to 10-minute presentations, as well as engage in a question-and-answer session with each applicant, which will be scored. 

The original meeting date was April 8; however, the city council decided to add additional review dates, which will be Feb. 25, March 11, March 25 and April 8.

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