Last night the Hoboken City Council voted to amend the 500 foot rule, with the intent of easing restrictions that have hampered the growth of Hoboken’s hospitality industry into newly redeveloped areas.
As it stands, Municipal Code 68-7 currently stipulates that:
“No plenary retail consumption license, except renewals for the same licensed premises and transfers of license from person to person within the same premises, shall be granted or transfer made to other premises within a distance of 500 feet from any other premises then covered by a plenary retail consumption license.”
The move was made to prevent an overabundance of bars in one area—with existing establishments obviously grandfathered in.
In a 6-1 vote (with two members absent), the Council moved to ease those restrictions, allowing businesses to move to certain sections of the city.
The central business district (near the PATH, and Washington south of fourth) can have up to 25 licenses—essentially what it has now. Significant changes are in the areas of the Neumann Leather Redevelopment Area (3 licenses), the Western Edge (10 licenses), Southwest Redevelopment Area (5 licenses), and increases in the Wards beyond Washington Street.
This WILL NOT create an increase in liquor licenses in Hoboken—those regulations are set by the State, based on population. What this does is give liquor license holders more freedom to find the best locations for their venues, in light of Hoboken’s ongoing and geographically diverse development.
“I’m glad to support relaxing the 500 foot rule in a way that balances both the interests and concerns of our community and gives more neighborhoods—including the redevelopment area around our new parks—the opportunity to have restaurants,” says Council President Jen Giattino.