Attention Residents of Grand Rapids,
Yesterday we were contacted by concerned residents and business owners about a law that the Michigan Liquor Control Commission is trying to change. For decades, we've had a rule that a new liquor store may not locate within a half-mile of a current liquor store. They call it the "half-mile rule."
Last spring, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission quietly dropped the rule, but the non-profit Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers sued the Commission (see Sources), since it had allowed no public input. This time period is giving the public the opportunity to comment. There are public safety concerns that stem from having an overabundance of party stores in an area. Dropping this rule could mean that a liquor store could pop up next to another one without restriction. Gas stations, drug stores and more could apply for a license. Quite possibly a neighborhood could end up with a store that sells alcohol on every corner. This is a public safety concern for neighborhoods as we tend to see a higher concentration of crime (drugs, prostitution & other activity) in areas where there is a higher concentration of alcohol being sold.
Some small businesses are worried that they will be run out of business because there will be more stores selling the same products and public safety concerns as well.
On 9/6/2017 there was a committee meeting in which we were told that there were at least 600 people in attendance by others who were there. We were also told the majority of people in attendance were against the ending of the "Half-Mile Rule." That day we received messages/emails from concerned residents, neighborhood organizations and even some small business owners about the proposed change.
We have been in contact with multiple neighborhood organizations not just in Grand Rapids, but also in other cities that are concerned about this change. We also have been in contact with our representatives from our local police department and the City of Grand Rapids to get their thoughts.
Most Importantly, we need your input! The poll below is to see what you think about this potential change and if you have additional comments on the matter. If you have questions please email us or message us.
In the News...
Half-Mile Rule History & More
Michigan Liquor Law.com - A Brief History of Liquor Control in Michigan
Michigan Liquor Law.com - The SDD 1/2 Mile Rule
Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers (AFPD): Website
AFPD Website posts involving the Half-Mile Rule:
- AFPD Challenges Liquor Control effort to end half mile rule - 3/23/2017
- AFPD - Update on Half-Mile Rule
- AFPD - Hundreds of local retailers head to Lansing to challenge the MLCC's effort to eliminate the Half-Mile Rule
Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) - Website
State of Michigan - Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs - Administrative Rule R 436.1133 "Half-Mile Rule" (see R 436.1133 SDD license; prohibited issuance or transfer. Starting on Pg. 11-12)
- State of Michigan - LARA post with search terms Half-Mile Rule - Some meeting minutes and other info.
Note: If we find more source information, we will add it.
Correspondence for or against this change to the "half-mile" rule must be sent to the MLCC before 5 pm on Wednesday, September 13.
If you would also like to write a letter in support or opposition of this change, you can: