Changes to city alcohol ordinances approved

Photo by Lukas Zeman via stock.xchng

At tonight’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, the committee members unanimously approved two changes having to do with alcohol ordinances for the city of Kenosha.

One had to do with the general ordinances, Chapter 10, entitled “Alcohol Beverages.”  Chairman Jesse Downing said that, over the last two months, numerous establishments have applied for liquor licenses, but there are none available.  Alderperson Rocco LaMacchia sponsored an ordinance change to add six additional licenses.  Downing said that “they were all for one corporation, but no one wanted to admit it.”  Therefore, the committee decided to do away with the city’s quota for Class A licenses and, at the same time, make the ordinance more stringent.

In addition to the schedule of demerit points listed in the current ordinance for various violations, an additional ordinance change was approved.  If a licensee is convicted of two violations in a year, it will be cause for their license suspension.  If there are three violations within a year, it will be cause for their license revocation.

Downing asked Matt Knight, assistant city attorney, to make an additional change.  He wanted the alderman of the district notified before the suspension/revocation was added as an agenda item.  Knight was requested to make the amendment to the ordinance change before the proposed ordinance change comes before the Common Council next Monday night, on December 3rd, for its first reading.

The second change had to do with a companion ordinance for class “A” license locations spelled out in the zoning ordinances for the city of Kenosha.  Currently, whenever a new business is applying for a class “A” license, they need to appear before the City Plan Commission for approval.  There is a one-half mile or one mile radius requirement for new establishments.  They cannot be closer than the specified distance from other such establishments.

Downing said that the City Plan Commission has never once denied any application that came before it.  Therefore, the proposed change is to lift the distance requirement from one establishment to the next, which is spelled out in the ordinance.

With the unanimous approval of both of these two proposed ordinance changes, LaMacchia requested withdrawal of sponsorship for his proposed ordinance change.  He also requested that he be added as co-sponsor on the above two proposed changes.  No action was, therefore, required on this agenda item.

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In other business conducted at the meeting:

  • Seven applications for new operator’s (bartender) licenses were unanimously approved, some with demerit points attached; two were denied, and two more were deferred.
  • A taxi driver’s license was also approved unanimously, subject to 30 demerit points; two others were deferred in order to allow the licensees time to provide supporting documents.
  • The application of the Piggly Wiggly Supermarket located at 2801 – 14th Place to transfer the agent status from Patricia Walden to Stephen Brodsko was granted unanimously, subject to 20 demerit points.
  • The application of Abdul Kaisani for a beer/liquor license for Pop’s Place, located at 3214 – 60th Street, with the acceptance of a conditional surrender of a similar license at the same location from Mister G’s of Kenosha, was approved unanimously.  This establishment also was unanimously approved for a yearly cabaret license.
  • The VFW Post 1865, located at 6618 – 39th Avenue, was also unanimously approved for a yearly cabaret license.
  • The application of Christopher Ruland for a secondhand article/secondhand jewelry dealer license for Roosevelt Road Antiques & Consignments, located at 3720 Roosevelt Road, was also approved unanimously.
  • The application of 52nd Gold Exchange, located at 1341 – 52nd Street, for a secondhand jewelry dealer license was approved by a vote of 3 to 2.  Alderpersons Anthony Kennedy and Curt Wilson voted against the license application.
  • The application of Quality Grocery, located at 1824 – 50th Street, for a secondhand jewelry dealer license, was tabled unanimously.
  • Two applications for pet fancier permits were approved unanimously; one was for Mary Santiago, and the other was for Kimberly Gorsuch.

The following revocation items were also approved:

  • The findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation in the matter of the operator’s (bartender) license of Joan Marie Eckert was approved by a vote of 4 to 1 (Kennedy was the sole dissenting voter).
  • The findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation to suspend the retail beer and liquor license of the CVS Pharmacy, located at 3726 – 22nd Avenue, for 30 days was approved unanimously.  They had accumulated 120 demerit points.
  • The findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation to suspend the beer/liquor license of  Rendezvous Tiki Lounge, located at 1700 – 52nd Street, for 15 days was also approved unanimously.  They had accumulated 200 demerit points.  This ruling came after Ray Misner spoke on the licensee’s behalf, pleading for leniency from the committee to either not suspend, or hold off on the suspension until after the new year.  Misner introduced himself as the head of the Licensing and Community Standards Consultants of Wisconsin, LLC.
  • The findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation to suspend the outdoor extension of their beer/liquor license of the Clubhouse Pub & Grille, located at 2621 – 30th Avenue, for 90 days was also approved unanimously.  They had accumulated 160 demerit points.
  • The findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation to approve the administrative suspension of the cabaret license of Bragados Banquets was unanimously approved.  The suspension is for 90 days.  The establishment had its cabaret license put on administrative hold by Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey due to frequent police calls.  The suspension went back retroactively to November 2nd.
  • The complaint by the city clerk seeking revocation of the taxi driver’s license of Charles Ulrich was deferred for two weeks in order to allow the licensee time to obtain representation.
  • The complaint by the city clerk seeking revocation of the beer license of the Shell Food Plaza, located at 11748 – 75th Street, was approved unanimously.  Knight ran through the incidents leading up to the accumulation of 240 demerit points within 730 days.  Misner also spoke on this licensee’s behalf, calling for the maximum suspension.  Kennedy spoke to the licensee, saying, “This licensee was suspended for 30 days in 2006, then again in 2009.  We were told in 2009 that controls would be put in place.  This committee gave the licensee another chance.  But, with 240 points today, I’d be stupid to give a third chance.  I don’t believe that this business is good for the community.  Maybe when you apply for a license in a year, you will have fixed all of your problems.  Take your consultant’s advice.”

Downing requested that Knight make contact with the licensee of the Speedway on 75th Street and 60th Avenue and get them in front of the committee regarding their beer license.  Downing said, “They are apparently more concerned with the revenue in their pocket rather than the costs associated with police calls.”  He asked that Knight draft the revocation hearing on his behalf.  Knight asked to speak to Downing about the issue after the meeting.

All of the recommendations made by the Licensing & Permit Committee at this meeting tonight will go before the Common Council next Monday night, December 3rd, for final approval.

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