Ward One Resident's Association (WORA) Bevin Bucheister on Alcoholic Beverage Law Review ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ward One Resident's Association (WORA) Bevin Bucheister on Alcoholic Beverage Law Review

(The below from WORA President Bucheister)
On April 29th, CCRABL (Citizen Committee on Reviewing Alcoholic Beverage Laws) will hold a public hearing on all the issues and ideas regarding the City's alcoholic beverage laws. We ask you to join the conversation and support us or voice your own ideas on the future of downtown.  The meeting is at 7 pm in Council chambers.

WORA has been hard at work providing input to the  CCRABL. We still oppose 0-27-09 which would effectively allow all downtown bars to obtain 2am licenses,  but instead of solely concentrating on
the detrimental effects this has on our neighborhoods we want to broaden the discussion to present what WORA has been working for since our inception, and to make concrete, useful recommendations for the committee to consider.  

WORA wants to see an improved, vibrant downtown that enthralls
visitors and residents with its variety, excitement, quality, and
beauty. We want a downtown where customers find it convenient, safe,
and interesting to shop and eat; a place where businesses of many
kinds thrive, where visitors, and residents, find stores and services
they need and want. We want a downtown where rents are reasonable, and
where rules are clear and enforced evenly and expeditiously. We want a
downtown where the scene changes through the day and through the year,
a place that is alive, growing, and always improving; a place that
will generate revenue and bring our town jobs; a place that is firmly
anchored in the city’s essential historic character. The downtown we
envision is not one-dimensional. It is a vibrant mix of shops of many
kinds, restaurants, bars, galleries, and historic buildings and

Our most important civic asset, the city’s essential historic
character, is already here, and must be maintained and improved. We
have some excellent shops and a mix of restaurants. We have the city
dock and the promise inherent in the National Sailing Hall of Fame. We
have entrepreneurial shop keepers and residents who are heavily
invested in the success of our city. We have a city government with
new leadership that is encouraging new ideas. These strong assets will
help us achieve our vision.

Some of the ideas we propose CCRABL examine to ensure the character of
downtown remains stable, varied and vibrant are:

•       Differentiate between bars and restaurants from a licensing
standpoint and regulate them separately since they have different
•       Place cap on the number of licenses and the size of establishments,
with all establishments having the same rules
•       Expand the 50/50 rule for all establishments (sales must be equal
parts food and alcohol)
•       Develop a clear and public understanding of what services are
necessary for the city to provide to the downtown core in order to
have a vibrant mix of downtown
•       Dedicate fees paid by licensees to special security details, or
charge a higher license fee based on type of establishment to address
needs for more neighborhood
•       Establish a property damage/ general clean-up fund, supported by
all  the license owners, that will be used to regularly repair damage
to public
       and private property, clean up streets, etc.
•       Enforce City code more effectively by hiring more enforcement
•       Review and rewrite of the Alcohol Control Boards rules and
regulations to be more clear and predictable for all parties
•       Develop objective standards for the granting of special exceptions
downtown (all food and alcohol establishments are special exceptions)
that are easy to understand

Bars and restaurants are charged the highest rents in downtown, and
the rents they are charged push all rents up.  High bar rents set an
expectation, an aspiration, for all landlords.  If there are no
controls on the number and type of food establishments allowed
downtown the result will be that landlords will push to maximize
return and convert more properties to 2 am bars and restaurants. This
trend toward ever higher rents pushes other businesses out and
jeopardizes the vision of a mixture of successful enterprises

On April 29th, CCRABL will hold a public hearing on all these ideas
and others.  We hope you will join the conversation and support us or
voice your own ideas on the future of downtown.  The meeting is at 7
pm in Council chambers.  We hope to see you there.

LISTEN TO CP Publisher Paul Foer on 1430WNAV at 8:15 every weekday morning or click on the WNAV icon to the right. READ CP Publisher Paul Foer's "The Ninth Ward" every Wednesday in The Capital.www.capitalonline.com Identified comments are always welcome. ALL ANONYMOUS COMMENTS will be automatically rejected without being opened.

1 Comment:

Craig Purcell said...

Dear Paul,

Your fixation with Weikel only serves to embolden him and increase his power over you and your group of friends. He has never denied being the anonymous author of the attacks against Smith and has said he considers this his constitutional right and an exercise in protected free speech as an individual.

You are right that other Democrats have not denounced him and that it implies they agree with the content of his assertions if not his methods.

I have not seen his environmental attack piece on Smith but have only heard about it.

You are incorrect in asserting that we are linked in that I disagree with him on many things like plastic in the historic core, liquor as core business identtiy for Annapolis and 2AM licenses.

I could care less what time bars close as long as they are equal. This issue of special deals for special bar owners and their residential supporters has paralyzed Annapolis for far too long and concerns about historic preservation have fallen by the wayside.

Just because I don't hate Ellen Moyer and think she has done many good things (especially for the environment, park creation and maritime business) for Annapolis is no reason to tar me with the broad brush you like to use against your old employer and associates.


Craig Purcell

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