Thursday, December 10, 2009

Congratulations to Baba D's

When Toby Keith and whoever has enough money can open a bar on the South Side, then you knew Bruce Kraus's stop-gap measure of a "saturation limit" on bars in the South Side wasn't going to fly in the courts. This was proved yesterday by the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas.

Judge James found that the ordinance was illegal because the city can't create special rules for bars. The city law was "an infringement on the power of the [state] Liquor Control Board and is invalid" becasue state law reserves most power to regulate alcohol for that agency.

I completely understand why the "saturation limit" was imposed. People that live on the South Side Flats were sick and tired of people pissing on their lawns and leaving broken bottles everywhere.

But the stop-gap measure was not the solution. All limiting the number of bars did was make it more expensive and difficult to get a liquor license. It did not increase the number of toilets on the South Side. It did not increase the number of trash cans. Ultimately, it was bad for small businesses. Baba D's was the scapegoat of this law. This restaurant was denied a liquor license and fought the law. They won.

Now, maybe we can get serious, read the South Side Hospitality Proposal, and actually address the South Side's issues?

Or not.

City Councilman Bruce Kraus, who represents the South Side, has already proposed a slightly modified version of the ordinance in a preemptive effort to keep it in force in the case of a court decision like the one rendered yesterday.

Oh well.