Downtown moratorium proposed

Mayor Paul Soglin is proposing a moratorium on new bars and restaurants in and around the State Street area, noting that since 1994, the number of retail businesses have dropped from 69% of State Street’s mix to 49%. Meanwhile, the number of eating and drinking establishments increased from 25% in 1994 to 48%.

According to a report from The Capital Times, Soglin would like to create a temporary Retail Preservation Overlay District for an area encompassing State Street to the Capitol Square and extending two blocks in either direction. Among the proposed rules, Soglin’s plan calls for a halt on issuing new entertainment licenses or Class A, B, or C alcohol licenses within the district. Also, established businesses with current alcohol licenses would not be able to expand. There are exceptions, as well.

The interim plan would continue until a retail study of the area is completed in a couple of years.