Guest Editorial: Opposing a Retail Liquor Store in the Entertainment District

By Tammy Caputi

Last week I requested that Case 38-LL-2021 (Old Town Scottsdale Liquor License) be moved off of the Consent Agenda and placed on the Regular Agenda for discussion and a motion. I have no issue with the applicant or the building use, I have a problem with the location for this use.

A retail liquor store in this location is not in the best interest of our community. This is right in the center of our entertainment district. We’re already experiencing an increase in violent crime in this area and easier access to alcohol will not help the problem. I spent some time over the summer in the “U” of the entertainment district with the Scottsdale Police Department, and it’s a pretty wild scene. Adding more alcohol outlets will be detrimental to our public safety issues downtown.

As the Scottsdale Police Department has pointed out, the possibility of purchase and consumption of alcohol immediately prior to or after venue attendance is a concern, as well as consuming alcohol on the street. These factors increase the potential for disturbances and altercations surrounding the establishment. Our Police Department already has its hands full on weekend nights in this location.

We want to make our downtown a safe, desirable, thriving location for residents and tourists, and I don’t think this application accomplishes the goal. I made the following motion:

“I move that the City Council forward to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control a recommendation to disapprove the applicant’s request to transfer a liquor license to this location because the public convenience and the best interests of the community will not be served by a retail liquor license at this location when considering factors 1, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12 of the State’s applicable Administrative Regulation R19-1-702 and the evidence presented and contained in the hearing record tonight.”

Council voted unanimously to disapprove the license transfer. It’s now in the hands of the State Liquor Board.