Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dumb stuff about the legislative process and retail and commercial district revitalization: Alcohol

1. That for the most part, it isn't legal for art galleries to serve wine and beer during openings. See for example, "Art galleries move closer to approval for serving alcohol," from the Denver Business Journal.

2. That it is illegal in Virginia to mix wine or beer with liquor (spirits). See for example "Virginia's Sangria Ban At Issue in 2 Hearings," fom the Washington Post. What this means is that it is illegal for Spanish-oriented restaurants to serve authentic sangria

3. And I know that Montgomery County, Maryland's liquor sales system (the county sells it, the only jurisdiction in the country to do so), means that innovative discount sales operations of an independent nature are restricted from creation. Plus, the limit of two liquor licenses for the same owner in terms of restaurant sales means that the ability to have multiple "stores" in places throughout the county means that most investment occurs along Rockville Pike and western Mongtomery County (Bethesda, Rockville Pike) rather than in a more balanced fashion to include Silver Spring and up Colesville Road.

4. In DC, neighborhood residents tend to have a hard time distinguishing between restaurants and liquor stores, and between restaurants and nightclubs, in terms of licensing and measuring the impact on a neighborhood.

Also see these past blog entries:

-- An interesting look back in time (8/2006)
-- Restaurants and liquor licenses--How much is too much on H Street? (4/2005)
-- Local involvement is so much fun (from 4/2005, also including testimony before City Council that I gave in 2002)

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