City overturns church-booze buffer zones

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November 7, 2011 // UPDATED 1:01 pm - November 18, 2011
By: By Nick Halter
By Nick Halter

An ordinance change approved by the City Council today will allow microbreweries to operate next door to a church.

A related ordinance change at the same meeting would also do away with laws limiting restaurants to only 30 percent of their sales to come from alcohol.

In both scenarios, city ordinance had required a 300-foot buffer zone between religious institutions and microbreweries and restaurants that serve over 30 percent alcohol.

Restaurants will still be required abide by the 60:40 ratio of food to beer.

The ordinance amendments do not apply to liquor stores, which will still need to abide by the 300-foot buffer. Also, buffer zones between schools and bars, microbreweries and liquor stores will remain in place.  

Council Member Gary Schiff (Ward 9) authored the measure. He noted that Portland now has 40 breweries and Minneapolis has only two — Fulton and Harriet Brewing.
Barb Johnson (Ward 4) and Diane Hofstede (Ward 3) voted against the buffer zone changes as they relate to microbreweries.