Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/15/1995 03:06 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HL&C - 03/15/95                                                               
 HB 180 - LIQUOR LICENSES FOR RESORT/LODGES                                  
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that the next matter before committee is HB
 Number 113                                                                    
 JAMES, stated the sponsor, Representative James, had submitted                
 this bill as a request to cover a loophole in existing liquor                 
 license laws.  She explained that under current law, small lodges             
 located in large boroughs or unified population areas cannot get              
 liquor licenses because they do not have enough rooms.  As an                 
 example, if a person wanted to develop a small lodge or tourist               
 facility in a remote or inaccessible area of the Mat-su or Kenai              
 Borough, the lodge would be required to have 40 rooms to obtain a             
 full service liquor license.  She stated that this was excessive              
 and unfair, and that this is not a liquor issue, it is a business             
 issue.  She stated that Pat Sharrock was standing by to answer                
 any questions.                                                                
 Number 145                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that he supported the bill, but his              
 concern was that this could be used as a way around a dry village             
 or dry area.                                                                  
 responded that those dry villages probably reside in  other                   
 incorporated boroughs of the state.  In those areas, separate                 
 rules apply as to how or under what circumstances a liquor                    
 license could be issued, and is governed by a five mile radius                
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that the ABC Board would be looking               
 at the proximity of the location for requests for these licenses              
 in relation to the dry areas.                                                 
 MR. SHARROCK stated that the board looks closely at current                   
 licenses issued in communities on the grounds of encouraging                  
 tourism.  If the board does not feel they're encouraging tourism,             
 they suggest that the licensee comply with that or look to losing             
 the license.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked what the rational was for excluding               
 road system places outside of towns.                                          
 MR. SHARROCK asked what he meant by "excluding road systems."                 
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked what the rationale was for Glennallen             
 or Gakona not being able to do the same thing.                                
 MR. SHARROCK stated that those communities exist in the                       
 unincorporated areas of the state.  In those areas, it's not the              
 aggregate population that determines the issuance of a license.               
 Number 206                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if any resort in Southeast could                
 apply for this if they had only ten rooms.                                    
 MR. SHARROCK responded that they could if they reside within a                
 unified municipality or borough, and were not accessible as                   
 defined by the highway definition.                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if this included the ferry system.              
 MR. SHARROCK said that in Title 28, it does say "including but                
 not limited to every street, and the Alaska State Marine Highway              
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked how many rental rooms you would                 
 have to have in the Municipality of Anchorage.                                
 MR. SHARROCK replied 50.                                                      
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Sharrock to explain the process on                    
 issuing the liquor licenses.                                                  
 MR. SHARROCK explained that the applicant would advertise                     
 publicly in the newspaper and post the copy at the proposed                   
 premises.  The applicant, after a period of time, would then file             
 the application with the ABC Board, who must forward a copy of                
 the application to the local governing body.  During this time it             
 is assumed that if there is public objection, those people will               
 appear at the assembly meeting, or before the board, when it                  
 takes up final review of the application.  He concluded that if               
 the board felt this bill would promote the proliferation of                   
 liquor licenses, they would withdraw their support immediately.               
 Number 275                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to the first section,                        
 "encouraging tourist trade," and didn't feel this was a very high             
 standard.  He asked if there was any case law to back this up and             
 how readily these licenses are granted.                                       
 MR. SHARROCK stated that the board hasn't or doesn't grant any                
 more than one or two per year.  He stated that it's not that easy             
 for an applicant to come forward and say, "I'm building a                     
 facility that has a dining room and I propose a bar."  He                     
 explained that even with a minimum of ten rooms, it would be hard             
 to find this economically viable if there is really no market for             
 it.  He pointed out the board, over the years, has not had,                   
 except in isolated cases, concern or objection about the way a                
 facility has operated.                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated that in the first section, it                  
 states, "The board may approve issuance or transfer".  He asked               
 if this license, once it was issued and becomes personal property             
 and has value, can be transferred to someone else subject to                  
 board approval.  If this was the case, he asked if a prohibition              
 of transfer would be a help to the board.                                     
 MR. SHARROCK stated that the word "transfer" only applies as it               
 extends to the premises for which the license was issued.  He                 
 said that the license issued under this provision of the law is               
 not relocatable.                                                              
 CHAIRMAN KOTT closed public testimony on HB 180.                              
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that with assurances of Mr. Sharrock             
 and the additional coverage that these new licenses would only be             
 in the first class cities that have the ability to protest in and             
 among themselves, he made a motion to move HB 180 from committee,             
 with individual recommendations, and accompanying zero fiscal                 
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any objections.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON interjected that this has a very narrow                  
 application.  He said that it was going to be difficult for the               
 legislature next year to say "no" to a resort or lodge in a                   
 non-organized borough.                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that the provisions under subsection             
 (a), line 14, page 1, through line 6 of page 2, are                           
 qualifications that would apply in an unorganized borough.  As                
 mentioned, the organized boroughs and cities are having problem               
 with the limitations on the numbers within those boundaries.  He              
 stated that they wouldn't be asked to pass legislation on outside             
 areas because those would be dealt with by the ABC Board.                     
 CHAIRMAN KOTT stated that there was a motion to move the bill, he             
 asked for objections.  Hearing none, HB 180 was passed out of the             
 House Labor and Commerce Committee.                                           

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