EVA Monday: Ashland liquor moratorium vote

By Neal McKnight

On Monday the East Village Association will vote on whether to support lifting a package liquor moratorium on Ashland Avenue between Division Street and Augusta Boulevard. Approval would be subject to controls imposed on the proposed licensee and written commitments from Ald. Proco Joe Moreno.

The EVA board of directors proposed in May and general membership voted June 4 to request that all current package and tavern liquor moratoria in our community be left in place for 3 years. This vote expressed the unanimous view of the organization to be communicated not only to the aldermen representing our community but also the Chicago Police Department and the local liquor control commissioner.

EVA also requested that the aldermen and governmental authorities explore legislative and regulatory solutions to create a framework for lifting the moratoria that would allow for a compromise between an outright ban and tailored individual controls.

Since this vote was taken, Ald. Moreno approached EVA expressing his desire and intent to lift the moratorium on Ashland Avenue to allow for Garden Gourmet Market to obtain a package liquor license operating as a grocer at 1130 N. Ashland Ave. Ald. Moreno also requested EVA input to find ways to allow this license.

In response to Ald. Moreno's request, EVA proposed these conditions for the organization's support for lifting the Ashland Avenue liquor moratorium:

  1. A written commitment from Ald. Moreno to complete the following before lifting the moratorium:

    1. All parcels in the Ashland moratorium that currently would be eligible for a package or tavern license be downzoned to prevent additional package and tavern licenses.

    2. A written agreement from Ald. Moreno to oppose any new package liquor or tavern licenses in the Ashland moratorium area. A written agreement from Ald. Moreno to oppose upzones in the Ashland moratorium area that would allow package liquor sales and tavern licenses.

    3. A written agreement from Ald. Moreno to oppose lifting any existing moratorium in the East Village Association territory until the end of his current aldermanic term. (The next aldermanic election is Feb. 24, 2015.)

    4. A written agreement from Ald. Moreno to consult with EVA and hold public meetings before lifting any liquor moratorium in the EVA territory in his aldermanic term. To consult means to advise EVA of such requests within 30 days of receiving the request and meet with the board and/or general membership of EVA before introducing legislation to lift the moratorium.

    5. A written agreement from Ald. Moreno to consult with EVA when a Public Place of Amusement license is sought in conjunction with any alcohol sales within 2 blocks of the EVA territory.

    6. A written agreement from Ald. Moreno to reinstate the Ashland moratorium 1 year (the earliest possible date) after lifting the moratorium.

  2. Garden Gourmet Market would agree to a Plan of Operation drafted with EVA input. The plan restricts liquor sales to wines and craft beers, limits volume to one-fourth of store revenue, and uses point-of-sale records to monitor operations.

We invite all members to join us Monday for a discussion and vote on this issue. Ald. Moreno and the owner and operator of Garden Gourmet Market will attend the meeting, starting at 7 pm in Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

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