Aldermen Harry Osterman (48th Ward), Patrick O’Connor (40th Ward) and I are holding a community meeting on a proposal to lift the liquor license moratorium on Devon Avenue to allow for a brew pub at 1221-27 W. Devon (at Magnolia) in the 48th Ward. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 28th, 6:30 p.m., at the Heartland Health Center, 1300 W. Devon (at Lakewood).
The south side of Devon is located in the 48th Ward and the ward’s alderman, Harry Osterman, is considering a proposal for a brew pub at the southeast corner of Devon and Magnolia (see photo of the property on the right). The owner of the proposed brew pub,Alex Drayer, plans to produce the beer on site and sell it for consumption on the premises.
Mr. Drayer and the owner of the property, Scott Whelan, will be on hand to present their proposal and respond to your questions.
The proposal requires a zoning change. As the property falls in Alderman Osterman’s ward, he will make the final decision on whether to recommend to the City Council support for the zoning change.
However, it also requires the City Council to lift the moratorium on the issuance of new liquor licenses that exists on Devon Avenue from Broadway to Ravenswood.This is where Alderman O’Connor and I come in.
The moratorium was imposed approximately 20 years ago by the City Council pursuant to an ordinance sponsored by Alderman O’Connor, who at the time represented both sides of Devon Avenue from Broadway to Devon.
Since then, the ward boundaries have changed. Portions of Devon between Broadway and Ravenswood are now represented by three aldermen. I represent the north side of Devon from Broadway to Greenview. Alderman Osterman represents the south side of Devon from Broadway to Clark and Alderman O’Connor represents the north side of Devon from Greenview to Ravenswood and the south side of Devon from Clark to Ravenswood (and beyond).
(Note: If you are still confused about the boundaries, CLICK HERE for a current map of the wards.)
Accordingly, the proposal to lift the liquor license moratorium requires the support of all three aldermen.
If the City Council were to adopt an ordinance lifting the moratorium, it could not be re-imposed for one year.
Lifting a moratorium does not automatically entitle an applicant to a liquor license; it simply gives the applicant the right to apply for a license. He or she still must satisfy the City’s criteria for a liquor license and the application is subject to the approval of the City of Chicago’s Local Liquor Control Commissioner. The opinion of the local aldermen and the community may influence the Commissioner’s decision, but the Commissioner retains final authority over whether the license will be issued.
The Liquor Control Commissioner may at his discretion require the applicant sign a legally binding “Liquor License Plan of Operation,” which places various conditions on the license. Any violation of the agreement may result in the imposition of a fine or a suspension or revocation of the license.
Aldermen Osterman, O’Connor and I will make a final decision on whether to introduce an ordinance lifting the moratorium after receiving input from those who attend the community meeting or send comments to our offices. I encourage you to attend the meeting to offer your opinions of the proposal. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to reply to this e-mail with your thoughts and suggestions. I will share your comments with my colleagues.