18 June 2012

Baltimore Proposes Shuttering 128 Liquor Stores

In a not-entirely-unexpected move, the City of Baltimore is looking to rezone certain blocks in the city over a two-year process with the objective of forcing approximately 128 liquor stores, most of which were "grandfathered" in as existing stores in the 1970s and which would not be allowed to open today, to close and sell their licenses.  The city is linking the stores to higher levels of violent crime..

The Baltimore Sun has the story.

I'm willing to wager none of these places sell anything we want to drink.

Among the interesting tidbits in the story:

*"In all, there are 1,330 liquor licenses in Baltimore, [Tomas J. Stosur, planning director] said. Liquor stores hold about 300, restaurants hold about 400 and taverns have more than 600."

*"The goal of the liquor store rezoning is to reduce the density of outlets selling alcohol, officials said. They note Baltimore's population has dropped by almost a third in the last 40 years but the number of outlets has remained constant."

*"About 90 percent of the city's liquor stores are owned by Korean Americans, and a legal representative for them says two years is not enough time to force the stores to move, shut or change operations."
(A personal observation: If 90 percent of the city's liquor stores were owned by a different minority, the cries of "Racism!" would be loud and clear.....)
(UPDATE: That premise is covered further in this updated Baltimore Sun article.)

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