Adventures in Local Regulation

My neighborhood has a lot of new buildings in it that are meant to be mixed-use with ground floor retail. But the combination of a lot of capacity coming online at roughly the same time with the recession means that plenty of the slots are still vacant. Hence, in my view it would be nice to help businesspeople interested in investing in the neighborhood to succeed in their efforts to start businesses. Meanwhile, some poor fool has actually decided to try and start a restaurant:

At tonight’s ANC 6C Meeting the lawyers representing Buddha Bar admitted they mistakenly filed the license under the wrong placard. I didn’t follow all the legalese, but because they will have a DJ they need to file in a different way. This will push the timelines for ABC licensing outward a month. Considering the restaurant has not begun buildout of the space this setback on the application of the CR liquor license is not holding anything up.

It’s great that in this particular case the month-long delay in getting regulatory approval for a liquor license isn’t actually holding anything up. But there’s still something wrong with a scenario in which some DJ-related element of the form-filling-out process can result in such a delay. The liquor licensing process can weed out some legitimate problems, but absent some kind of real problems it seems to me that the prudent city would be going the extra mile to help would-be entrepreneurs get the clearance they need and get new businesses off the ground.