Economy prompts voters in historically dry community to approve liquor sales
11/11/2011 | Real Estate Blog
Licensing, zoning and permits are all interconnected issues. Each of these areas covers government regulation on the way businesses are run. Licenses are of many kinds, depending on the type of business in question. Liquor licenses are one such example.
Interestingly, Moorestown voters approved of a proposal to allow the sale of liquor at restaurants at Moorestown Mall. The vote will bring changes as Moorestown, a wealthy town in Burlington County of 19,000 people, has been a dry community for over 100 years.
The referendum on the matter asked voters whether they would approve of permitting liquor sales in the community, and whether the sale of alcohol should be restricted to mall restaurants. The unofficial results of the vote were 4,138 to 2,740 on the first question and 3,750 to 2,876 on the second.
On three previous occasions, voters have rejected similar proposals to allow the sale of alcohol. At the most recent vote in 2007, voters rejected a similar proposal by a ratio of nearly 2-1.
A representative from the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), the group which campaigned to convince voters about the change, has said that the mall plans to open four new restaurants that plan to serve liquor, as well as a 12-theater multiplex.
According to PREIT, the difficult economic conditions played a part in the vote. One of the selling points on the most recent proposal was that the ability to sell alcohol would make room for “fine dining” restaurants with liquor licenses, which will stimulate growth and increase tax revenues. PREIT has promised to pay $4 million for four liquor licenses and an estimated $500,000 to $650,000 in additional taxes in the first several years.
PREIT emphasized that restricting liquor sales to the mall was an effort to respect the many people who oppose liquor sales while still helping revitalize the community.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “Moorestown repeals liquor ban,” Jan Hefler, November 9, 2011.