Alderman wants to prevent liquor sale


Alderman Mary O’Connor (41st) will hold a community meeting this month on the feasibility of establishing a moratorium on the issuance of packaged goods liquor licenses in the area of Northwest Highway and Sayre Avenue.

The issue of a moratorium came up last fall when the 7-Eleven store, 6200 N. Sayre Ave., applied for a liquor license but later withdrew its application due to community opposition. The store would have been the first in Downtown Norwood Park to sell packaged liquor goods.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Norwood Park fieldhouse, 5801 N. Natoma Ave. The moratorium must cover a minimum two-block area and can include side streets.

A ban on selling liquor in the precinct where 7-Eleven is located was lifted in 2006, and the following year the store’s owner made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a liquor license. The stored changed from being a franchise to a corporate store last year.

Aldermen can sponsor moratorium ordinances which ban a variety of liquor licenses, but incidental liquor licenses at restaurants generally are not affected, according to the city’s Web site. Some residents have said that when they voted in 2006 to lift the ban because they believed the change would only allow restaurants to obtain a liquor license.

Former alderman Brian Doherty imposed a moratorium on packaged goods and tavern liquor licenses on the west side of Northwest Highway in the commercial district about 7 years ago. Doherty did not impose the moratorium on the east side of the street, where the 7-Eleven is located, because the zoning on that side of the street is more restrictive.

The B3-1 zoning of the 7-Eleven site allows the sale of packaged goods as an accessory use. A liquor store with primary revenue coming from the sale of alcohol would require a special use to be approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

While objections at community meetings have been raised about a convenience store selling liquor in the commercial district, some residents have said that they welcome the sale of packaged goods at a full-service grocery store.