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State Senate Passes Bill Closing Loophole in Liquor Law

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A bill sponsored by State Senator Daniel Squadron closing a loophole in New York’s liquor licensing laws passed the Senate yesterday.The new legislation deals with the “500 foot rule,” which limits new liquor licenses when there are already three or more permits within 500 feet of one another. It also strengthens the “200 foot rule,” which prevents the State Liquor Authority from approving new licenses within 200 feet of schools and places of worship. A news release from Squadron’s office says:

The bill clarifies the 200-foot law, requiring the 200-foot separation to be measured from the property line of the nightlife establishment.  The clarification creates a clear, enforceable law that nightlife operators can adhere to and communities can rely on.  It will similarly amend the 500-foot law to clarify that the measurement take place from the property line of the nightlife establishments in question.

In the release Squadron added:

“This bill closes a loophole in the 200-foot rule big enough to fit its own bar.  By clarifying that measurements must be taken from the property line, as was always intended, this bill creates a clear, consistent standard for communities and establishments to follow – another step toward desperately needed consistency and clarity in licensing.”

Last year, Squadron sponsored legislation removing another loophole in the “500 foot rule” which allowed the SLA to approve more than three licenses if they were different types (full bar, wine only, hotel, etc). The bill passed yesterday still must be approved by the Assembly before it becomes law.

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