Monday, September 20, 2004
Steamboat Springs An ordinance the City Council will consider tonight would allow liquor to be served in hotels and restaurants within 500 feet of public or parochial schools.
The state statue on liquor codes says that a liquor license cannot be issued to an establishment within 500 feet of any public or parochial school or principal campus of any college, university or seminary.
Kenneth Fuller, who is looking to put a restaurant in the old Cugino's site, is asking the city to waive the 500-foot restrictions. City Clerk Julie Jordan said that the site, which sits at 825 Oak St., would violate the state statue because it sits directly across the street from the Lowell Whiteman Primary School.
Cugino's was able to serve alcohol at the restaurant, because it already was established when the primary school was built, said Jordan who deals with the city's liquor licenses. When Cugino's moved to its new location on Ninth Street the restaurant's liquor license went with it, Jordan said.
Under the state statue, local governments have the ability to waive the liquor distance requirement for all classes of liquor licenses.
But Jordan is requesting that just the hotel and restaurant class of liquor license be waived.
That would be the most conservative waiver, Jordan said, noting it would require any liquor license holder within 500 feet of a school to offer food and dining with alcohol.
"It is full meal service, a bar or night club couldn't open," she said.
Communities throughout Colorado have waived the requirement, Jordan said.
The city has found that several downtown restaurants also are very close to being within the 500-foot distance of Oak Street and the primary school. Oak Street is zoned as a commercial transition area, where commercial and residential uses merge.
"There are a lot of communities in Colorado that have done this, especially small communities where Main Street is next to residential areas," Jordan said.
Steamboat's other schools -- the school district's two elementary schools, the middle school and high school and the Christian Heritage School -- all are in residential areas.
"I don't see this as a threat to the community, and I am a parent," Jordan said.
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