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Richmond, VA – Mayor Dwight C. Jones and City Councilman Charles R. Samuels today announced their joint proposed ordinance to manage the location of private liquor stores, should the State move to privatize ABC stores in the future.

The purpose of the ordinance is to distinguish “retail sales of liquor” from other retail stores, to require a conditional use permit in certain districts, and to establish specific conditions to the operation of such stores. The conditional use process is specifically designed to promote neighborhood review and input, through the conduct of public hearings by the Planning Commission and City Council.

The proposed ordinance would have a three-part approach: 1) defining “retail sales of liquor” to distinguish it from other retail stores, and distinguishing it from the sales of other alcoholic beverages (such as beer and wine, which are not changed from their current status by this proposal); 2) specifying retail liquor sales as a use permitted only by conditional use permits in certain districts, and not allowing the sales in residential districts or the HO or B-1 districts; and 3) establishing specific minimum conditions applicable to every conditional use permit, including limiting the hours of operation, prohibiting drive-up sales, and requiring certain buffering, screening and landscaping conditions.

“What we are saying is that the City needs to be mindful and deliberate about its physical development. We want to manage how private liquor stores would be allowed to locate in our community, and under what conditions,” said Mayor Jones. “We appreciate Governor McDonnell’s commitment to ensuring that local governments retain their zoning powers in the ABC privatization legislation, and we are being proactive in establishing the process.”