Wicker Park Committee on Polish Triangle liquor moratorium

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Alderman Proco Joe Moreno
1st Ward

On behalf of the Board of the Wicker Park Committee, I am obliged to express our extreme disappointment in your decision to suspend the liquor license moratorium for two blocks along Ashland Avenue, thereby allowing the package liquor license for the CVS Pharmacy at Ashland and Division. The Wicker Park Committee, along with neighboring East Village Association (EVA) and the Wicker Park Bucktown (WPB) Chamber of Commerce, has previously stated our opposition to lifting the decades old moratorium. The recent announcement by CVS of... “Beer and Wine Sales Coming Soon”… was a stunning surprise to the community, since there had been no discussions among Ward staff and the community groups that this liquor license application was going forward.

Regrettably, we recognize we have no recourse with the CVS liquor license, but we will expect diligence from your office in enforcing agreements with CVS regarding sales restrictions and neighborhood surveillance. Furthermore, terminating this moratorium exposes two blocks of Ashland Avenue to future applications for liquor licenses. While we recognize CVS is a well-regarded corporation to some, we would like to point out that the increased propagation of packaged goods stores is in direct conflict with the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Technical Assistance Report: 2010 “Placemaking at the Polish Triangle.” The report states “A casual observer will note there is much evidence of alcohol consumption on the Triangle. This leads to increased trash (beer cans, liquor bottles) and contributes to feeling unsafe” (Page 12). While the Polish Triangle area has struggled to revitalize its image and improve the local economy, we anticipate that the increase prevalence of alcohol will hamper the attempts these efforts. We therefore expect that your office will put forward the utmost commitment to preventing any future “surprise” liquor license along Ashland.

Jim Drew
Cc: Raymond Valadez, Chief of Staff
WPB Chamber of Commerce
East Village Association
Pulaski Park Neighbors Association
WPC Board
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