July 11, 2008
OLYMPIA - The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) will decide whether to approve or reject a request by the city of Tacoma to create a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area (AIA) within and surrounding the Lincoln District at a Board meeting at 10 a.m. July 16 at WSLCB Headquarters, 3000 Pacific Ave. S.E., Olympia.
If the Board approves the AIA, it will issue a resolution that restricts the sale of certain high-alcohol, low-cost beer and wine products within AIA boundaries. The proposed AIA boundaries are Interstate 5 to the west, south to 72nd and 76th streets, east to Portland Avenue, and north to Interstate 5. There are 62 liquor-licensed businesses and three state operated liquor stores within the boundaries.
In 1999, rules were adopted to create a framework for communities, the WSLCB, and the alcohol industry to work together to mitigate problems with chronic public inebriation or illegal activities linked to the sale or consumption of alcohol. The rules allow WSLCB to recognize a geographic area within a city or town as an AIA.
The Tacoma City Council created a voluntary AIA in the boundaries in April 2007 through ordinance. According to the state AIA rules in Washington Administrative Code 314-12, if chronic public inebriation and associated problems have not lessened after a voluntary AIA is created, the local authority can contact the WSLCB to request the adoption of the area as a mandatory AIA. The Tacoma City Council requested the adoption of a mandatory AIA in April 2008.
A Board meeting was held May 7, 2008, in Tacoma to allow public comment about the city's request.
Tacoma, which is the first city in the state to use the AIA rules, currently has one AIA, which was approved by the WSLCB in 2003. It is located in Tacoma's downtown central core.
Besides Tacoma, three other Board-approved AIAs exist in Washington. The Pioneer Square, Central Core, and North AIAs are located within the limits of the city of Seattle.
Please visit the WSLCB Web site at lcb.wa.gov for the latest information on Alcohol Impact Areas and background materials.