Urbana Overhauls City Liquor Code
Urbana Overhauls City Liquore Code to Better Serve Residents and Businesses
Authority of the State of Illinois Liquor Control Act of 1934 charges the Mayor, or their designee, with enforcing the provisions of the Act and the resulting local ordinances and resolutions relating to liquor control.
In light of comments and concerns related to our current Liquor Code, changes in business models, and the challenges related to administering the current ordinance over the past two years, beginning in April of 2019 the Office of the Liquor Commissioner and the City Attorney began drafting a revision. The goals included:
- Maintaining compliance with the Illinois Liquor Control Act of 1934
- Continuing compliance with Illinois Liquor Control Commission rules and regulations
- Clarifying language and reduction of ambiguity in the ordinance
- Fair and consistent code compliance and enforcement across the city
- Response to current and future business needs
- Creation of opportunities for Urbana businesses and organizations
In October of 2019, a paper copy of the draft revision was mailed to all liquor license holders. License holders were invited to two informal meetings to explain proposed changes in the ordinance, obtain feedback, and answer questions. Fourteen license holders and a number of City staff attended those meetings.
Revision continued through December of 2019 with City staff review conducted in January of 2020.
Changes/Consolidations in License Classifications
License Classifications in general
Currently there are twenty-seven (27) classes of liquor license, of which four (4) are not being utilized by any business or organization. The proposed ordinance reduces the number of license classifications to twenty (20).
New License Classifications
Class BYOB-R License (Restaurant Allowing BYOB)
Class CS License (Complimentary Service)
Class F License (Farmers Market)
Class TH License (Theatre)
Class INC License (Incubator)
Licenses Converted to Riders
Catering Rider - formerlyCA1 License – Caterer’s Retail – Additional Site (consumption at catering location only)
Outdoor Café Rider - formerly Class BW (Sidewalk café-adjacent premises)
Video Gaming Rider - formerlyClass G-1 Video Gambling (excluding gaming halls)
Package Liquor Rider - formerly Class C License (package liquor – consumption off premises only)
All Ages Live Performance Event Rider (ages 14-17)
Grocery Café Rider
Pick-Up and Delivery Rider
Hotel Restaurant Rider
Class INC - This license classification was created in response to requests for an additional license to accommodate new business models that do not fit into any of the current license classifications. Rather than create a new license each time somebody proposes a new type of business, City Council approved of the Class INC license that gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to explore creative business models. If the model works, if others want to do the same thing, etc., then we could decide to create a new license class. This would be more efficient on both sides compared to drafting new code language that would have to be approved by City Council, followed by City Council approval of the license itself.
On February 24, 2020, City Council approved Ordinance No. 2020-02-005 consolidating twenty-seven (27) classes of liquor licenses to twenty (20) classes of liquor licenses and eight (8) optional rider classifications, a complete revision of Urbana City Code Chapter 3 – Alcoholic Liquors (UCC Ch. 3).
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