Council loosens rules for nonconforming alcohol places

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 02, 2014 5:00 AM

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Some restrictions for nonconforming drinking establishments in Iowa City have been loosened by the City Council.

The council approved an ordinance amending the definition of enlargement/expansion for nonconforming drinking establishments on Tuesday by a 7-0 vote.

The council had planned to vote on second consideration of the ordinance, but a staff request for expedited action led to its final approval.

Nonconforming drinking establishments serve alcohol but don’t comply with the required separation distance between drinking establishments. One of the restrictions put on these establishments is that they may not be enlarged or expanded.

The amendment changed the definition of enlargement/expansion so that any expansion to a commercial kitchen that doesn't increase maximum occupancy wouldn't be considered an expansion.

These changes could increase the ability of nonconforming establishments to serve food.

— by Daniel Seidl

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