March 18, 2010
Public comment welcome at March 24 meeting
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) will review a request by the City of Spokane to adopt a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area in the downtown core during a public meeting at 10 a.m. March 24 in the Spokane City Council Chambers at 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. Public comment is welcome.
The Board is scheduled to make a decision during its Board meeting at 10 a.m. April 7 at the WSLCB Headquarters, 3000 Pacific Ave. S.E. in Olympia.
The purpose of an Alcohol Impact Area is to mitigate problems with chronic public inebriation or illegal activities linked to the sale or consumption of alcohol within a geographic area of a city or town. The Spokane Alcohol Impact Area boundaries would run east and west from Cannon Street to Scott Street, and north and south from Spokane Falls Boulevard to Fifth Avenue.
If adopted by the Board, the 32 liquor-licensed businesses within the boundaries that sell wine and beer for off-premises consumption would not be able sell certain banned low-cost high-alcohol-content beers and wines identified by the city.
Alcohol Impact Areas
In 1999, rules were adopted to create a framework for communities to take action to mitigate problems with chronic public inebriation and illegal activities linked to the sale and consumption of alcohol. An Alcohol Impact Area is designated by geographical boundaries and must be adopted by ordinance of the government subdivision.
Creating a voluntary Alcohol Impact Area is the first step for communities considering asking for a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area. If chronic public inebriation and its associated problems do not lessen after the voluntary Alcohol Impact Area is created, the local jurisdiction may then request Board recognition as a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area. Spokane created a voluntary Alcohol Impact Area in December 2002. The city requested a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area in December 2009.
Seattle has three mandatory Alcohol Impact Areas, while Tacoma has two. Vancouver has a voluntary Alcohol Impact Area.