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City wants residents' input on proposed liquor law changes

City wants residents' input on proposed liquor law changes



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City wants to plan public forums about potential changes to their liquor ordinances. But before they can plan these meetings, they need your input.

Since the state made changes to their liquor laws, Salt Lake's liquor ordinances don't match up as well with state laws like they used to.

"In our downtown area, we have a rather old and arcane requirement that you can't have more than two liquor serving establishments per block, and we have very big blocks here," said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

The mayor said they were also trying to "clean up" things, like updating licensing procedures and getting rid of outdated maps.

"Because it's such a big package of changes coming through, we're having some public comment that will go through the 25th [of September]," Becker said.

He said people can comment on the items under consideration on the city's website.

The potential changes include allowing more bars per city block and possibly rezoning where bars could go.

Some of the strongest concerns from citizens about any changes in liquor ordinances deal with the potential impact on commercial areas near residential zones, like Ninth and Ninth. If the changes are accepted, bars near neighborhoods could operate differently than bars near downtown.

"If somebody wants to apply for [starting] a drinking establishment, or an establishment that serves liquor, [he] will have to go through a more rigorous review and there will be conditions placed on their operations," Becker said.

Overall, the mayor said he was getting a lot of feedback.

"We've been getting quite a bit of comment, and it has been strongly supportive of the changes that we're considering," Becker said.

After the public comment period is over on the city's website, city officials will hold six different forums in different parts of Salt Lake City. As for where and when, that will be determined by the amount of comments the city receives online. The forums will be open to all Salt Lake City residents.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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Paul Nelson

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