FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Harry Readshaw
Readshaw wants municipalities to be able to limit number of liquor licenses
HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 -- State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, today announced he will introduce legislation that would allow municipal authorities to establish maximum saturation ratios for liquor-licensed establishments within their community.
Readshaw submitted similar legislation in the last session, but the measure (H.B 329) never made it out of the House Liquor Control Committee.
"I'm going to work on it again because constituents on the South Side tell me the concentration of drinking establishments continues to erode the quality of life in their neighborhood and imperils them and their loved ones on the streets," said Readshaw.
"My proposal is fair in that it would not have the state impose the ratios on the municipalities, but rather the municipalities would establish the numbers for their specific community."
Under Readshaw's bill, transfer of a license from one municipality to another or issuance of a license for economic development would have to be approved by the governing body of the municipality if it has created a prior maximum saturation ratio and the saturation level is met or exceeded.
In addition, the proposal would allow a municipality to create a maximum saturation ratio for licensed establishments in any zoning district where licensed facilities are permitted. Factors to be taken into account would be the type of licensed use, type of zoning in the district, the current saturation rate and the size of the zoning district.
"Licensed establishments play a role in our communities; however, when too many of them are concentrated, that role can evolve into dominance of the community life," added Readshaw. "I believe my proposal offers an avenue for municipalities to promote them as a complimentary resource of dining and entertainment, rather than through the status quo of becoming a dominant adversary to the community around them."
Readshaw plans to introduce the bill later this month.