Senator ROBERT M. GORDON
District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Allows municipality to issue permit to sell alcoholic beverages in downtown business improvement zone, pedestrian mall, or special improvement district.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on November 30, 2017, with amendments.
An Act concerning alcoholic beverage licenses and supplementing Title 33 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. As used in this act:
"Downtown business improvement zone" means a zone designated by a municipality, by ordinance, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1998, c.115 (C.40:56-71.2) in order to promote the economic revitalization of the municipality through the encouragement of business improvements within the downtown area.
“Pedestrian mall” shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of P.L.1972, c.134 (C.40:56-66).
“Special improvement district” means an area within a municipality designated by municipal ordinance as an area in which a special assessment on property within the district shall be imposed for the purposes of promoting the economic and general welfare of the district and the municipality.
b. A municipality in which the number of plenary retail consumption licenses has reached the population limitation established in section 2 of P.L.1947, c.94 (C.33:1-12.14) may issue by ordinance 1[one] a1 special permit to an individual corporation or other type of legal entity 1[operating] for use in connection with1 a premises 1operating1 in 1[the municipality’s] each1 downtown business improvement zone, pedestrian mall, or special improvement district 1located in the municipality. A municipality shall not issue more than three special permits1.
The special permit shall authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for immediate consumption on the premises and shall be used in connection with dining, entertainment, or recreation. The premises shall be open to the general public and have a seating capacity for at least 25 patrons.
c. The municipality shall establish an application process for the special permit. An application shall include a financial statement prepared by a certified public accountant stating that the applicant has expended or is committed to expend at least $250,000 for the construction, improvement, restoration, rehabilitation, or acquisition of the licensed premises.
d. A municipality may issue the special permit in a manner consistent with the provisions of P.L.1975, c.275 (C.33:1-19.1 et seq.).
The minimum bid for the special permit shall be fixed at one-half of the average sale price of the last three plenary retail consumption licenses in the municipality in which the licensed premises is located during the five years immediately preceding the effective date of P.L. , c. (pending before the Legislature as this bill).
If the licensed premises is located within the boundaries of two or more municipalities, the minimum bid shall be based on one-half of the average sale price of plenary retail consumption licenses issued in the municipality in which the structure of the licensed premises is primarily situated. If less than three plenary retail consumption licenses have been sold in the municipality or municipalities, as the case may be, within the previous five years, the municipality or municipalities shall obtain an appraisal to determine the appropriate minimum bid for the special permit.
The appraisal process shall include an examination of previous transactions in the municipality or municipalities, as the case may be, and shall reflect one-half the amount of what a willing buyer, under no pressure to buy, would pay a willing seller, under no pressure to sell, for a plenary retail consumption license in that municipality or municipalities.
e. The municipal issuing authority 1[may] shall1acquire the special permit for reissuance in accordance with subsection d. of this section if the special permit is not actively used for more than 18 months. However, the municipal issuing authority, for good cause, may authorize the person to whom the special permit is issued to maintain the special permit in an inactive status for not more than an additional six months upon demonstration that the permit holder is making a good faith effort to use, or resume active use of, the special permit.
f. If an area that was previously designated as a downtown business improvement zone, pedestrian mall, or special improvement district is no longer designated as such by a municipality, the municipality 1[shall] may1 purchase any special permit that is held by an individual corporation or other type of legal entity that was operating a premises in one of the previously designated areas. The purchase price shall be fixed at the amount that the holder of the special permit paid for the permit, which shall be adjusted in accordance with the average annual inflation rate.
g. A special permit issued pursuant to this section shall not be transferred:
(1) for use in connection with a premises other than a premises located within the municipality’s downtown business improvement zone, pedestrian mall, or special improvement district; and
(2) for more than 1[10% of] 10 percent over the initial issuance fee paid in accordance with subsection d. of this section.
h. The holder of a special permit shall pay, upon renewal of the special permit, any applicable renewal fees which are otherwise required to be paid to the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control by the holder of a plenary retail consumption license.
i. A special permit issued pursuant to this section shall not be issued to any person who would not qualify as a plenary retail consumption licensee pursuant to Title 33 of the Revised Statutes and rules and regulations of the director.
2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month following enactment, but the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control may take any administrative action in advance of that date as may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act.