Alcohol Impact Area proponents organizing

Seen one of these in the neighborhood? (This one is actually in Maryland.) Photo by Guy Schmidt via Creative Commons.
A group of North Beacon Hill neighbors have concerns about the impact of public inebriation on the neighborhood, and have started a drive to form an Alcohol Impact Area (AIA). There are currently AIAs in effect throughout much of downtown and the University District.

According to the Department of Neighborhoods website, local jurisdictions are given more time to review liquor license applications and renewals inside an AIA, and the jurisdiction may also request that the Liquor Control Board restrict stores in an AIA from selling certain types of alcoholic beverages that are linked to local chronic public inebriation problems. Sales may be restricted entirely, or the businesses may be limited in the hours they can sell beverages “to-go.” By “certain types,” the city currently means this list of products: wines such as Boone’s Farm, Night Train Express, MD 20/20, and Thunderbird; and beers/malt liquors such as Keystone Ice, Olde English 800, Rainier Ale, and Steel Reserve.

Neighbors in favor of the AIA are currently collecting photos of the impacts of public inebriation on the neighborhood—specifically, photos of littered cans and bottles of those beverages which are banned in Pioneer Square and downtown, but are sold legally here on Beacon.

For more information on the Beacon Hill Alcohol Impact Area Initiative, see their Facebook page.

7 thoughts on “Alcohol Impact Area proponents organizing”

  1. Wendi, thanks for posting.

    Hadn’t realized this…

    >local jurisdictions are given more time to review liquor license applications and renewals inside an AIA…

    I’m now opposed to an AIA on Beacon Hill.
    People starting restaurants on the hill don’t need even more impediments to business.

    The Pioneer Square AIA has been a dismal failure.

  2. I’ve been wondering if there is any data to show success or failure rates of Alcohol Impact Areas. If anyone has any, I’d love to see it.

  3. I share psf’s concerns about the impact on businesses. I worked evenings in Pioneer Square 20 years ago when it had joint cover on weekends and was a bigger party neighborhood than it is now. It’s been almost ten years since it was declared an Alcohol Impact Area, and I’m not sure I see any fewer street drunks than I did then, but I am sure I see a lot fewer viable businesses.

    I suppose I could post my question about data on the Facebook page, but to do that I have to “Like” it. Without knowing more I’m not sure if I “Like” it or not.

  4. I am not sure the AIA led to Pioneer Square’s collapse. There are a lot of factors that affected the Square, unfortunately. It is very sad. (I used to work there.)

    I think most people who are supporting an AIA here aren’t thinking so much about the liquor license delays, though, but about the sales restrictions. That is the impression they have given me so far.

  5. I certainly didn’t mean to say the AIA caused businesses to fail in Pioneer Square. I’m more questioning whether it has made it more difficult for new ones to replace them.

    Here’s a PI article from 2006 on the effectiveness of the AIA in Pioneer Square before it was expanded to include the ID and other neighborhoods:

    And here’s a Beacon Alliance of Neighbors page on the city site that describes how the expansion of AIAs pushed the street drunks onto the hill:

    With summer coming (supposedly) I expect soon to be dealing with the guys passed out on the El Centro steps across the street from my house. I don’t like it. But I’m not sure that spreading the AIA across the entire city neighborhood by neighborhood is actually doing anything to address the real problem.

  6. Wow, Wendi’s blog goes back 7 or 8 months, and most points are still valid.
    Why not an AIA for Beacon Hill . The gas stations won’t go out of businness by not selling fortified wine or 10+ beer or ale, or mini-stores either.

    We know the homeless/inebriates are still around near and above the Jungle hanging out around neighbors property or the various stairs on Beacon Hill north. I recently blogged about the proposed
    6am to 1pm “delay” for certain alcohol beverages which includes Beacon Hill. I will be surprised if it has any effect. I still want an AIA .

    This most certainly will not affect bars or the new welcomed bars on Beacon Hill. L L

  7. I am taking the liberty of re-sending Wendi Dunlap’s post of June 6, 2011 regarding the beginning efforts to begin the Alcohol Impact Area in Beacon Hill. The limited restriction of certain hours to buy the above beverages was initiated. In my, and other’s view ,this voluntary operation is not working well.

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