Columbus sets hearing for liquor permit objections
Columbus City Council will hold a public hearing Wednesday, Sept. 12 regarding liquor-permit objections from local civic officials.
The city is recording complaints about bars, carryouts and other establishments that sell alcohol.
The hearing will begin at 5 p.m. in City Hall, 90 W. Broad St.
"The main goal of the hearing is to outline the objection process and highlight the results of the previous year's cases," said John Ivanic, council spokesman.
"It is possible the city is not already aware of problem businesses."
Ivanic said council, when deliberating the objections, will take into consideration a number of factors, such as police runs to the establishment, code-enforcement issues and health-department violations.
"You have multiple layers of city services that help build a case against a business," he said.
Community input must be received by the city by Sept. 21.
The city looks at roughly 100 liquor license complaints -- some internally initiated -- annually and winnows the list as the year goes on, Ivanic said.
"Our goal is not to put an owner out of business, but to help that owner become a good neighbor," he said.
"Sometimes the situation comes to the point that an owner has a problem, the business is not a good neighbor and needs to have the liquor license revoked," Ivanic said.
The City Attorney's Office will review the objections before making a determination to council in December.
Council votes on the list of problem permit holders, and the city's objections then are forwarded to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.
Matt Mullins, spokesman for the liquor control division, said the number of complaints has fallen in recent years because of better communication between the state and local governments and the local governments and liquor establishments.
"We have been making an effort to work with local governments so they understand the process a little bit better and the kind of evidence that can be used in having a better chance of getting their objections sustained," Mullins said.