St. Louis alderman pushing for more relaxed liquor license proce - KMOV.com

St. Louis alderman pushing for more relaxed liquor license process

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A St. Louis Alderman's new bill is causing quite the stir.

Ward 23 Alderman Joe Vaccaro is pushing for a more relaxed liquor license process in the city.

"It just makes it unattractive for companies to want to build in the city," said Vaccaro.

The city’s current liquor license ordinance requires new owners to obtain signatures from at least 51 percent of residents, registered voters and other businesses within a 300-foot radius, often a difficult task that can take weeks if you ask Vaccaro.

"We even filmed a lady showing her I.D., showing her signing it, and they still wouldn't accept her signature," said Vaccaro. "We're actually punishing some of the guys that do it right that want to sell."

Vaccaro's introducing a new bill titled Board Bill 97 that would allow for what he calls a "seamless transfer of a liquor license".

The bill would mean a company acquiring a business with a license would skip over the petition process and in its place, would have just one hearing.

"It's a bit antiquated, the process and the speed at which it happens, but I think it's fair," said Molly's in Soulard co-owner Luke Reynolds.

Reynolds said the current system may not be easy, but it's important.

"I think it's a process that has made the neighborhood stronger," said Reynolds. "It forces the neighbors and business owners to engage each other. Because there's no way around it, you literally have to walk up to them and ask them to sign the petition."

The hearing for Board Bill 97 is still not set.

Alderman Vaccaro tells News 4 even with his proposed bill, residents and nearby businesses would still have the power to revoke a liquor license at any point as long as they can gather 51 percent of the necessary signatures.

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