Davenport's Plan and Zoning Commission will get a first look next week at a revised carry-out liquor ordinance that comes after a moratorium on downtown licenses that expires in October.
The city council enacted a six-month moratorium in April after a flood of liquor license requests were made in the area directly west of downtown. Tasked with reviewing the ordinance, city staff recommends a revision that restores distance separations removed by the council in January 2012.
A public hearing in front of the Plan and Zoning Commission is scheduled for July 16.
The distance will be shorter than the 2,700-foot separation done away with in 2012, down to 1,320 feet. The previous distance was likely excessive and led to several waiver requests as part of liquor license applications, planner Michael Schwarz wrote in the staff report.
City staff examined liquor ordinances for several Iowa cities, and Schwarz's report noted that Iowa City's included a separation distance of 1,000 feet and Des Moines' ordinance had a distance of 1,320 feet.
Alderman Bill Boom, 3rd Ward, who requested the moratorium for his downtown ward, likes the suggested separation distance.
"The one we had before was too large a distance," he said. "This seems to be a more acceptable distance separation. I think it will work well for our purposes here in Davenport."
The Downtown Davenport Partnership has been working with the city on the ordinance. Director Kyle Carter said it is premature to comment on the ordinance until it is farther along in the process.
Schwarz's report states that to comply with the minimum 1,320-foot distance separation, no new carry-out liquor stores could be located west of Scott Street in the downtown. Any new downtown carry-out liquor stores would have to be located near Main Street or farther east. The new requirement would permit only one additional carry-out liquor store in the downtown.