Columbus City Council last night approved legislation opposing the renewal of state liquor licenses for seven local bars and carryouts, citing high levels of criminal activity.
Council annually objects to renewing the licenses of establishments with high crime activity, based on police runs and citizen complaints. Assistant City Attorney Bill Sperlazza says the efforts have been successful.
Among the establishments in question is Beechwood Market on East Livingston Avenue.
Sperlazza says another problem establishment is Brothers Drive-Thru, also on East Livingston Avenue.
The Ohio Division of Liquor Control will now schedule hearings on the objections, and the owners may appeal the subsequent decision to the Ohio Liquor Control Commission. Council last night also handed out three tax breaks, including one to a subsidary of Columbus-based American Electric Power. Gahanna-based Ohio Power gets a 10-year, 75 percent abatement to expand a transmission service-center complex on Old Morrison Road, creating or retaining 64 jobs. Community activist Joe Motil says it's another example of a pay-to-play culture at City Hall.
Council also approved a five-year, dual-rate break on income taxes for new employees at Installed Building Products as part of an expansion of its corporate headquarters on South High Street, creating or retaining 197 jobs. And a 10-year, 75 percent property tax abatement and a six-year, 60 percent job-creation tax credit to renovate and expand former Mount Carmel Health System medical offices and a parking garage in Franklinton, creating and retaining 127 jobs. Council also approved zoning regulations for medical marijuana facilities. Growing and processing facilities will be placed in manufacturing districts. Testing facilities will be placed in non-retail commercial areas. Dispensaries will be placed in C-4 commercial areas. Scott Messer directs the city's Building and Zoning Services department.
Messer says dispensaries will face a special permitting process, and will be required to notify neighbors before opening.