I have heard of planning set-backs for beer licensees around churches and schools but this one is new to me: a restriction relating to libraries in the community of Bountiful, Utah:
A Bountiful restaurant, located too close to a county library branch, was denied a beer license 18 months ago. The bottom line: No booze hurts the bottom line. So, the El Matador reapplied. This week, the City Council voted to grant it a variance, allowing it to start serving suds. From the restaurant's front door to the boundary of the Davis County Library branch property line is only 412 feet, said Aric Jensen, Bountiful's planning and economic-development director. State and city law requires at least 600 feet separating such establishments.It all stems from Utah Code s.32A-10-101 which provides at clause 1(e) that any local authority may establish proximity restrictions for establishing premises where beer is sold at retail for off-premise consumption in relation to any public or private school, church, public library, public playground, or park. Somewhat nuttier still is the limitation at 32A-10-201 clause 3(b) which provides that is it not enough to say what the distance needs to be when you can define how to measure distance as well:
(b)The premises of an on-premise beer retailer license may not be established within 200 feet of any public or private school, church, public library, public playground, or park, measured in a straight line from the nearest entrance of the proposed outlet to the nearest property boundary of the public or private school, church, public library, public playground, or park.Interesting to note that there is an internal inconsistency with section 4 which measures distance according to "the shortest route of ordinary pedestrian travel" as opposed to the straight line. These sorts of laws, like any of the blue laws governing morality, speak to their day and inevitably lose the point as society changes. Notice there are no cinema, shopping center or college restrictions, places that the under-aged probably would more likely to be found these days.
Or is it to keep the kids safe at all? Maybe adult library users and park goers are particularly unstable in Utah. Book learners and nature lovers. You know the sort.