• Maryland Legislature Removes Liquor License Proximity Restrictions in Montgomery County
  • June 20, 2016 | Authors: Rosemarie Salguero; Stacy P. Silber
  • Law Firm: Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered - Bethesda Office
  • Starting July 1, restaurant owners in Montgomery County will no longer be restricted from obtaining an alcohol license due to their establishment’s location near or next to a place of worship, school, or youth center.

    House Bill 1064 abolishes the county’s restriction on the issuance of alcohol licenses within 750 feet of a place of worship, elementary or secondary school, or youth center sponsored or operated by a governmental unit. It is contingent on the restaurant meeting all other qualifications for its license type.

    The new law solves a long standing issue for properties, particularly in urbanizing and central business district areas, that have had their land uses limited by this former law. With the governor and legislature’s pro-business decision, restaurants have growing opportunities in Montgomery County.

    Previously, the Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners could grant an exception and issue a license to sell alcoholic beverages at a location more than 300 feet from a restricted zone. However, the board had no authority to issue a license for any location located less than 300 feet from a school, place of worship or youth center.

    It was one of two bills the state legislature recently passed, along with House Bill 1029, that are of immediate consequence to alcohol license holders in Montgomery County. Both laws take effect on July 1.

    House Bill 1029 also provides new business opportunities to holders of Class BD-BWL licensees, which are restaurants and hotels that sell beer, wine, and liquor on-site, and may sell beer and wine for off-site consumption.

    The BD-BWL was a license type established by the legislature in 2015, and Bill 1029 extends the hours of alcohol service as well as allows the license holder to obtain a catering extension so it may provide alcoholic beverages at an off-premises event.

    Here is a complete rundown of alcohol bills that were passed:

    April 12
    • SB 0724 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=SB0724&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • SB 410 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=SB0410&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    April 26th
    • SB 0725 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=SB0725&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 1311 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1311&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 1064 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1064&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 1069 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1069&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 1311 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1311&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 1316 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1316&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 1337 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1337&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    May 19th
    • SB 587 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=SB0587&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 733 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB0733&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 1020 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1020&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS
    • HB 1029 - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1029&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS