On September 14, 2016, the City Commission referred this item to the Land Use and Development Committee (Item R5R). On September 21, 2016, the item was discussed and continued to a date certain of November 16, 2016. On November 16, 2016, the Land Use Committee discussed the item and recommended that the City Commission refer the attached ordinance to the Planning Board for consideration.
On December 14, 2016, the City Commission referred the item to the Planning Board (Item C4 H). The item was sponsored by Vice-Mayor Joy Malakoff & co-sponsored by Commissioner Ricky Arriola.
At the September 21, 2016 Land Use Committee meeting, the Administration was directed to research the locations of existing package stores citywide. Attached is a list of such establishments, as well as maps showing the locations.
The proposed draft ordinance amends Chapter 6 of the City Code by increasing the minimum distance separation of package stores from the current 300 feet to 1500 feet, as recommended by the Land Use Committee. The current distance separation of 300 feet allows for a package store on almost every block in the commercial districts. The measurement of the distance separation is from door to door as outlined below in the City Code Chapter 6, Section 6-4 “Location and use restrictions:”
(b) Determination of minimum distance separation.
(1) For purposes of determining the minimum distance separation, the requirement shall be measured by following a straight line from the main entrance or exit in which the use associated with alcohol beverages occurs to the nearest point of the property used for a public or private school. In cases where a minimum distance is required between two uses associated with the alcohol beverages for consumption on or off the premises other than a public or private school, the minimum requirement shall be determined by measuring a straight line between the principal means of entrance of each use.
As a point of reference, the words liquor store, package sales, and retail store for off premises consumption are used interchangeably. The threshold to determine if an establishment is subject to the distance separation regulations is if the establishments are “retail stores primarily selling alcohol beverages.” If the establishment’s floor plan uses more than 50% of the floor area to sell alcohol it is subject to these regulations. Otherwise, if the sale of alcohol is less than 50% of the floor area it is considered a convenience store or other type of retail establishment, which does not have a distance separation requirement in the code for alcohol sales.
PLANNING BOARD REVIEW
On January 24, 2017, the Planning Board transmitted the proposed Ordinance Amendment to the City Commission, with a favorable recommendation. The Planning Board also recommended that the City Commission include a no variance provision for the revised distance requirements, which has been included in the draft ordinance.
SUMMARY / UPDATE
The subject ordinance was considered and approved at First Reading on March 1, 2017. At Second Reading on April 26, 2017, a modification was introduced on the floor that amended the Ordinance title. As such, a new First Reading was set for May 17, 2017.
The proposed increase in distance separation from the current 300 feet to 1500 feet remains. The proposed revision to the Ordinance consists of the following additional language:
A retail store primarily selling alcoholic beverages may obtain conditional use approval from the planning board to operate at a lesser distance from an existing store, but in no event shall such a store open at a distance less than 700 feet from an existing store. There shall be no variances from this distance separation requirement.
The subject Ordinance, with the above noted revised text, was approved at First Reading on May 17, 2017. Maps showing the 700 foot distance buffer from existing package stores have been attached.