2019 Baltimore City Liquor Bills
Improving alcohol laws in Baltimore is an important part of the city’s violence reduction strategy. Several loopholes have made it difficult for neighborhoods to address problem alcohol outlets that pose harm and safety threats to area residents.
These bills will help 1) remove loopholes encountered by neighborhood organizations that impede their ability to effectively protest the license renewal of problem alcohol outlets, 2) limit the ability of problem outlets to avoid being penalized for their bad behavior, and 3) provide immediate protection for communities where violent acts have been committed in a licensed establishment.
The hearing for these bills will be Monday, February 18, 1:00 pm before the House Economic Matters Committee.
House Office Building, Room 230
6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD
Contact Economic Matters Committee Delegates to ask them to support these proposals that will help fix these loopholes and empower neighbors to address persistently problematic alcohol outlets.
Alcohol & Violence
Baltimore City leaders and communities have many potential solutions to address surging homicides, Among them: reducing the number of alcohol outlets.
Murder clusters around alcohol outlets. Each additional alcohol outlet in a census tract raises the homicide rate 1.6 percent. Nearly half of all homicides — 47 percent — are caused by excessive drinking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that the murder wouldn’t have happened if the perpetrator hadn’t been drinking. Apply CDC’s calculations to Baltimore, and 161 of the 343 homicides in 2017 were caused by excessive drinking.
Learn more about alcohol’s role in Baltimore City’s violence epidemic with the following:
TransForm Baltimore: Alcohol Provisions
TransForm Baltimore (TransForm) is an update to the Baltimore City zoning code that was passed by the Baltimore City Council on December 5, 2016. It was the first update to the zoning code since 1971. TransForm contains several provisions that relate to alcohol outlets in Baltimore City.
The rules and regulations included in TransForm went into effect as of June 5, 2017.
What does this mean for you?
You and other members of your community will play an important role in ensuring these new regulations are enforced. Although the alcohol outlets will have at least two years to conform or cease operations, there a few things you can do now:
- First, consult the CityView Map of Baltimore to determine if any liquor stores in your neighborhood are impacted by the new code. Educate yourself about what makes a tavern noncompliant and what the owner must do to comply with the new code.
- Second, stay aware of important deadlines, including the deadline to file for the hardship waiver and the date by which these establishments are required to conform to the new zoning requirements. Pay attention to whether the non-conforming establishments in your neighborhood have filed for a hardship waiver, made modifications to comply with the zoning code, or have permanently closed,
- And finally, continue to check the Baltimore Good Neighbors Coalition’s (BGNC) Facebook and Twitter posts to stay updated on the latest news regarding alcohol outlet legislation and enforcement. As the deadlines for waiver requests and compliance draw near and decisions about enforcement are made, BGNC will continue to provide important updates for community members regarding the process for filing a complaint about non-compliant establishments.