New entertainment district approved - Tucson News Now

New entertainment district approved

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

New bars and other establishments that serve alcohol have to be careful of setting up near a school or church.  An entertainment district lifts that state restriction, but the owner must still apply to the liquor board and must still face objections, if anyone makes some.

The new district, unanimously approved by the Tucson City Council Tuesday, focuses primarily on Fourth Avenue and downtown along the streetcar route.  Those in favor point out that this does not mean that liquor license applicants will be exempt from objections to their applications for a license.  That process will continue.

But the district does provide some relief.  The state has allowed cities to set up entertainment districts as a way around the restriction against putting bars within 300 feet of churches and schools.  There are a few near Fourth Avenue, as well as charter schools like City High School downtown.

Tuesday's approval of an entertainment district allows more opportunities for bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to continue to open along the streetcar route.

"It kind of opens the door to a wider conversation but it doesn't rubber-stamp the decision, and that's what I think people need to understand," said Ward Six Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik.

"I think with an entertainment district, I think it's going to help all businesses with regard to foot traffic, with regard to bars, restaurants, retail locations, all of that," said Kevin Kramber, an independent consultant at Tuesday's meeting.

See the entertainment district map here.

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