Scenarios do exist where the comedy club and a moratorium on new licensing both are passed. (photo from Laugh Comedy Club Facebook page)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - It's a night for alcohol discussion with the Bloomington City Council.
The Laugh Comedy Club's restaurant liquor license request will come before the council tonight as well as a proposed moratorium on new liquor licensing in the downtown.
“It was the city council that stated that they wanted to consider an ordinance for a limited period of time,” said City Manager David Hales. “The council was united in saying that they wanted to see a new tone for the downtown.”
Hales said the idea for the ordinance came out of a recent retreat for the council.
The council will hear different versions allowing for flexibility to consider tavern only or tavern and restaurant bans.
“It also has some versions that talk about when the actual moratorium would go into effect and what impact it would have on licenses currently being processed, such as the Laugh Comedy Club,” said Hales.
The comedy club application will also be considered at the meeting. Hales added it's possible the council would approve the license change and not include it under the moratorium.
The city council wants a six-month moratorium that will allow for changes under the newly elected governing body from the spring elections.
“That six months puts us pretty close to the end of the term of office for many of the aldermen and the mayor,” said Hales. “Then they could consider whether they want to continue the moratorium or just let it expire.”
Hales thought the council will use the moratorium as a benchmark for what needs to change, both now and in the future, for downtown Bloomington.
“Furthermore, I think during the six months they will look at what progress is being made on actually being proactive with enforcement and addressing the problems,” said Hales.
Miller Park Zoo
The council will additionally establish a memorandum of understanding with Miller Park Zoo. The move solidifies – in writing – the partnership between the city and the zoo. As the zoo continues its application for a five-year accreditation, the memo will help move the process along with the American Zoological Association.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Bloomington City Council chambers at City Hall on Olive Street.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.