Moratorium on liquor stores passed in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Moratorium on liquor stores passed in Waterloo

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Some neighborhoods in Waterloo won't see new developments in the next six months - at least developments that sell liquor. The Waterloo City Council moved forward with a controversial plan to hold off on issuing any new liquor licenses to stores, bars or restaurants in certain city neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods include Church Row on the city's west side..and parts of Logan Ave., E. 4th St., and Broadway St. on the city's east side. Neighbors and neighborhood groups have spoken out in the last year against places that sell liquor or beer in those areas. That's the reason many city council members passed a resolution on a 6-month moratorium on new or transferred liquor licenses in those neighborhoods. In the last year, city council members have denied liquor license applications in those neighborhoods. Many business have won on appeal. City leaders say this step is a way to buy time to strengthen the current liquor and beer ordinances but critics say it stops development of retail areas.

"Trying to control businesses, I'm not in favor of that. We just struggled with our latest budget because we just do not have enough property taxes to keep us afloat here and for us to discourage development doesn't make a lot of sense to me," said council member Ron Welper.

The ordinance also affects the Church Row neighborhood of Waterloo. Neighborhood groups there have been vocal on getting rid of area liquor stores. City leaders are currently working on changing zoning ordinances in those neighborhoods to put more restrictions on alcohol sales there. Those zoning changes would need to be done in the next 6 months or else the city council would need to pass another moratorium.

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