Downtown businesses concerned over proposed single-serve alcohol sales ordinance

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 10:06 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The way you buy alcohol downtown could change. The City of Reno is proposing new restrictions on sales of packaged alcohol within city limits.

“Some of the proposed changes were introduced a year or two ago when the project started, but there’s been a lot of delay with covid and everything,” Lance Ferrato, Business Relations Program Manager with the City of Reno said.

Leaders held a Packaged Alcoholic Beverage Sales Stakeholder Workshop on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, to learn more about the proposed changes and to provide comments.

Staff is considering limiting or possibly stopping the sale of all single-serve beer and liquor products at downtown convenience stores. This ould affect 22 businesses within the proposed area.

Ferrato added, “We just wanted to get the community involved and get their opinions and their concerns on any of the issues that we’re proposing.”

The goal is to keep the city safe, clean, and clear of public intoxication and petty crime, especially among the homeless.

“We are with the city and that’s what we want, my kids go downtown and I want them to be safe.”

Lucky Walia, Owner of the 7-Eleven at Keystone Ave.

Lucky Walia is the owner of the 7-Eleven on Keystone Ave., one of the impacted businesses. He said banning these sales isn’t going to achieve that goal.

“I don’t think it’s going to help because homeless people will buy bigger packaging, if they don’t have money single person, three people together will buy the bigger package and create more problems with fighting over one whole bottle,” Walia said.

Walia and other store owners said there are additional ways that could provide a better solution. He added, “ID everyone to sell the liquor, so if homeless people or anyone doesn’t have ID, they don’t buy, even if it’s a bigger package or smaller package. Restrict the timing like California; you cannot sell from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.”

This is just one opinion city leaders say they’ll take into consideration to build the best plan possible moving forward to clean up downtown Reno for future generations.

Reno’s city council is accepting written public comments until Friday, June 25, 2021, at 5 p.m. Those comments could be used to alter the city’s plan for the city council to review in the coming months.

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