To attract a variety of new businesses as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the downtown area, the Safford City Council is considering the establishment of an entertainment district. The City Council is seeking input from Safford citizens, business owners, property owners and faith based organizations on whether an entertainment district is a good fit for the Safford Community.
Based on initial feedback received, the City Council will decide if they should move forward with a public hearing on designating an area downtown as an entertainment district. The public hearing will provide the community with an opportunity to express their support and/or concerns on this issue.
What is an entertainment district?
In 2010, the Arizona State Legislature approved a new law that allows cities to designate an “entertainment district.” This legislation was created to provide relief from certain liquor license requirements for properties located in areas with entertainment, artistic and cultural venues such as music halls, concert facilities, theaters, museums, studios, galleries, restaurants, bars and other related facilities.
Currently, properties located within 300 feet of a church or a public or private K-12 school can not obtain a new liquor license unless the establishment is a restaurant that generates 40% of revenue from the sale of food, or is a hotel/motel with a restaurant, or is a special event or festival, or is a not-for-profit performing arts theatre with 250 or more seats. In an entertainment district, City Council, on a case by case basis, can request the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control approve an exemption from the distance requirements mentioned above. The Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control has the final authority to approve or deny liquor license requests.
A review of Main Street has identified nine churches that are located on or near Main Street. Applying the 300 foot separation rule eliminates a large number of properties that can be utilized for a micro brewery, winery, tasting room or beer and wine bar because these types of establishments typically do not generate 40% of their revenue from food sales.
As part of adopting a resolution to create an entertainment district, the City Council can dictate which types of liquor licenses are exempt from the 300 foot separation rule on a case by case basis. Examples of types of liquor licenses include beer and wine bar, beer and wine store, craft distiller, micro brewery, winery, tasting room, bar and liquor store.
How is an Entertainment District Established?
The Arizona Revised Statues requires the City Council to adopt by resolution designating an enter-tainment district. Before voting on a resolution to designate an enter-tainment district, the City Council will hold a public hearing to receive comments from the public in favor of or against the creation of this district.
Based on population, Safford can have only one district. The district shall not exceed one square mile in area and needs to be at least one-eighth mile in width. The exact boundaries of the district are not yet determined and will be part of the City Council discussion should this item move forward.
The City of Safford is soliciting input from the public. Please click the link below to submit your feedback: