October 2, 2019

Kristin Gisleson Palmer, City Council

Council to Vote on Proposed Provisions to the City's Alcoholic Beverage Outlet Laws Thursday

Council to Vote on Proposed Provisions to the City's Alcoholic Beverage Outlet Laws Thursday

NEW ORLEANS - The Council is expected to vote on Ordinance No. 32,693 at its regular meeting on Thursday, October 3 at approximately 12:30 p.m. The ordinance proposes a number of updates to the City's existing Alcoholic Beverage Outlets (ABOs) laws. Council staff along with businesses, bars and residents have worked collectively on the revisions since November 2018.

Co-authors of the ordinance, Councilmembers Kristin Gisleson Palmer and Cyndi Nguyen would like to reiterate what this ordinance will accomplish:

  1. Deletes certain antiquated and discriminatory suspension/revocation grounds such as "permitting females to frequent the premises and solicit patrons for drinks."
  2. Develops an appeals process for applicants denied an ABO permit or a renewal.
  3. Crafts an emergency suspension provision to allow for a temporary suspension of an ABO permit, pending a review hearing, when emergency action is imperatively required to protect the safety of the community. This provision will require a public rules promulgation process and another vote of the Council to take effect.
  4. Allows bars to have sidewalk seating on the public right of way, which is currently illegal.
  5. Modernizes the ABO application requirements to remove archaic and regressive provisions, facilitating additional employment opportunities, such as:
    • Deleting the mandate that no applicant be convicted of a "misdemeanor involving moral turpitude";
    • Deleting the mandate that an applicant must be a citizen or residential alien of the State of Louisiana; and
    • Deleting the mandate that a spouse's felony conviction is an automatic ground for permit denial, incorporating the exceptions provided in State law.
  6. Conforms the City Code to the existing State law mandate requiring both state and city ABO permits for legal operation.
  7. Requires that property and sales taxes be paid prior to ABO permit issuance or renewal.
  8. Streamlines and clarifies the penalties the board can order, limiting monetary and taxation violations to monetary fines, and creating an ability to have remedial sanctions re-evaluated after one year. 
  9. Updates the Code to include contemporary ABO categories like distilleries and breweries.
  10. Retains the existing requirement that a "manager" be on premises at all times as a responsible party, but enlarges the definition of "manager," thus giving smaller businesses greater staffing flexibility.


Media Contact:

Tiffaney Bradley

Communications Director

Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer, District "C"

(504) 658-1034

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