Lebanon Reporter

Local News

January 14, 2011

Law would pop liquor permit cap

Whitestown — An unintended consequence of Whitestown’s annexation of land near Interstate 65 and Indiana 334 is that upscale restaurants wishing to sell alcohol can’t get liquor permits — because none are available.

Liquor permits are issued on a per-population basis, Boone Economic Development Corp. executive director Dax Norton told the county council Tuesday.

With the annexation, Whitestown has exceeded the number of alcohol permits that can be issued to restaurants, Norton said.

While there are several restaurants in a shopping mall at Ind. 334 and County Road 650 E, they received licenses when they were in the county. Now, they’ll count against Whitestown’s cap.

“We want some of the Outbacks, some of the Bonefish Grills” to move into the Anson area, Norton said.

State Sen. Phil Boots, with help from the Boone EDC, has written Senate Bill 144, which would make an exception to the restriction, Norton said.

The bill had first reading on Jan. 5 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Public Policy.

Council President Steve Jacob urged the council to write letters to Boone’s legislators supporting the bill.

Wednesday, Norton said the issue was discovered in 2009 by Whitestown Council President Dawn Semmler “as a potential detriment to the development of Anson South.”

Before the annexation, liquor permits were based on county population. Now, with Whitestown’s estimated 2010 population at 3,000, “It would be at least 10 years before Whitestown would grow big enough to request an additional liquor license based solely on population,” Norton said.

For more of the story, see Friday’s Lebanon Reporter.

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