Lewiston to revisit drinking establishment ordinance

7:33 PM, Dec 11, 2012   |    comments
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LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Some members of the Lewiston Planning Board say the city's drinking establishment market has gone untapped for too long.

Planning Board member Eric Potvin has pushed for the city to revisit a drinking establishment ordinance first drafted in 1984.

The ordinance set up distance regulations for different zones, which required some bars to be 300 to 500 feet away from other drinking establishments.

Potvin said the intent of the ordinance was to clean up the Lower Lisbon Street area.

He said now it's time to ease restrictions, instead of restricting future economic development.

"Going forward, if someone wanted to open a wine bar or a martini bar, or a place that did not serve food, it could definitely be an issue," said Potvin.

"Then looking forward to the Riverfront Master Plan, which involves the whole mill district, those restrictions are still in place there, and that area is a blank slate," he said.

The Planning Board voted 7-0 in favor of revisiting the drinking ordinance. Potvin said the language is still under revision, but they will be looking at the distance restrictions still in place for certain zones.

He said he is optimistic about a new draft receiving city council's approval after getting positive feedback from both city officials and Lewiston police officers.

It will likely take another two months until the city council holds public hearings on a new drinking establish ordinance.



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