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Alder Scott J. Resnick

Alder Scott J. Resnick

Home Address:
661 Mendota Ct # 1404
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-807-7962
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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ALDO: On the Rocks

July 5, 2011 10:01 AM

Over the last month I have been attending committee meetings to discuss the renewal of ALDO (the Alcohol Licenses Density Ordinance). For the first time since its inception, two committees, the Economic Development Commission (6-1-1) and the Downtown Coordinated Committee (6-4) recommended that the council end ALDO.

Currently ALDO places a cap on the number of taverns in downtown Madison. Enacted as an ordinance to promote safety, limit alcohol consumption, and increase retail business downtown, the unintended consequences have shifted the city’s priorities away from the actual problem downtown.

A thriving downtown requires lively entertainment and a healthy mix of nighttime activities. Young residents want new venues and concepts that aren’t vertical drinking. Concepts such as live music have proposed for downtown yet ALDO restricts these new businesses from opening.

Although the city committees and the Common Council have spent hours upon hours discussing the merits and downfalls of ALDO, I believe there is a greater problem to downtown safety: bad operators. Research provided by the Police Department indicates that issues leading to a majority of arrests and citations stem from a few particular bars. We need to shift the paradigm of alcohol management to punish bad operators and incentive well run establishments.

After listening and compromising with many of the downtown and area stakeholders, alders Verveer, Bidar-Sielaff, Subeck and myself are offering a substitute amendment at next Tuesday's council meeting. If accepted, this would usher in a two-year transition period away from ALDO. It would offer a realistic entertainment license option for downtown venues. It would also allow for capacity extensions for taverns, providing a positive incentive for good behavior.

Moreover, the four of us (and possibly a few others) are offering a resolution to discuss an ALDO alternative - a downtown strategy to manage alcohol licenses and business development. Over the next two years city staff, committees, neighborhood leaders, students and downtown stakeholders would discuss a new way to manage alcohol licenses outside of ALDO that promote positive behavior and better reflect the growth of our downtown community.

Tags: Alcohol, ALDO

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