Salt Lake's mayor ready to push for new liquor regulations

Salt Lake's mayor ready to push for new liquor regulations

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City's mayor says he'll soon be moving forward with his ideas on how to change the city's liquor regulations.

Mayor Ralph Becker says he would like to see a more walkable community with areas throughout the city where people could go and get a drink and dance or have a glass of wine with dinner near where they live.

"We've been doing this over the last year and a half, a legal review of our laws, with the state changes we have to make some changes in our laws anyway. We want to make our laws sensible and more normal for the public and the business community," said Becker.

"Some of them [liquor regulations] have been in place for decades and are hard to understand today, some are contrary to state law that was changed this year, and some of them need to be simplified for purposes who are seeking business licenses and business approvals from the city," he said.

Becker says he indicated more than two years ago, when he was running for office, that changing the liquor policies would be one of his priorities.

"Two liquor servicing establishments per block face, that really is contrary to any common understanding, at least today. Maybe at the time it was passed it made some sense of what works to have the kind of viable and active downtown I think all of us want," Becker said.

"The approach that we are looking at taking with the city council would be if a liquor serving establishment is near a residential area, that they have additional conditions they meet so that the impact on people who have a concern in a residential area is addressed by doing a number of things. It may be setbacks, it may be lighting, it may be different kind of things to provide for more security for people who are concerned about that being near their neighborhood. But also to allow for people to be able to enjoy liquor serving establishments in a neighborhood setting where they can walk and they can be a part of a livable community, which all of us want," said Becker.

Becker says as the state runs up against a limit on the number of liquor serving establishments, he would like to see the Legislature expand the number of licenses.

"I hope the Legislature will look at that and allow business opportunities to expand in a more normal way," said Becker.


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Randall Jeppesen


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