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Friday, August 28, 2009

Bringing SLC into the 20th Century

Believe it or not these two fine specimens are more up-to-date than most of Utah's liquor ordinances. We all know that "normal" in Utah is a relative term. What seems normal here is often considered byzantine everywhere else. Especially where alcohol is concerned.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is preparing to bring the city's outdated city ordinances in to the 20th century. Over the past year Becker has been working on a booze ordinance task force. The focus is on making a place for pubs as a "conditional use" in neighborhood commercial centers, and eliminating the two-bar-per-block rule, effectively clearing the way for a downtown entertainment district that would bring the city to life after dark.

Normalizing Salt lake City's liquor laws would wash away our teetotaling reputation, give the burgeoning tourism and convention industry a boost and dispel the myth that the mere presence of bars turns children into raging, uncontrollable, demonic alcoholics and creates drunken drivers.

Don't cheer yet this is still Utah. Becker's proposed liquor revamp will be vetted and voted on by the Planning Commission and the City Council, as soon as this fall. And of course the Utah Legislature could still "pee in the punch bowl" and kill the whole plan.

Even though there has been a lot of progress in treating adults like adults we're still a long way off from being considered "normal" in the eyes of the world.


Ed said...

Good article from the Trib yesterday, with a lot of specifics -- and some typical quotes from a couple of detractors:

Sweeping rule changes on tap for Salt Lake City bars

Anonymous said...

Obviously, a move in the right direction, but the limiting factor will be licenses. Salt Lake can do what it wants, but unless and until the ABC condenscends to make more licenses available, nothing will change. The ABC will simply starve new, prospective establishments to death by failing to approve more licenses. Sad.

Mikey said...

The DABC would do away with quotas if it could. The council has said so. They just enforce the laws. It's the legislature that choking out perspective new business.

Most of those tired old hacks up there (not all) on the hill are so out of touch they can't see five feet beyond their wards.

Change will only come if they can comprehend reason next session. And even then they'll want somthing in return. Contact your representative and tell he or she to help fix this mess. Cheers.

Mikey said...

Thanks for the link Ed. It's a good article.