Kolodziejski says northeast county has too many liquor stores, taverns PASADENA

January 29, 1993|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

A state lawmaker who said Pasadena has been overrun with package stores and taverns wants to halt the flow of new liquor licenses into northeast Anne Arundel County.

Del. Charles W. "Stokes" Kolodziejski, a Carvel Beach Democrat, has asked the General Assembly to place a moratorium on those establishments east of Ritchie Highway from Brooklyn Park to Severna Park.

At least 11 taverns and package stores operate on Fort Smallwood Road within two miles of his home, said Mr. Kolodziejski. That has prompted numerous complaints from constituents about underage drinking and from business owners about increasing competition.

"They are on every block practically," said Del. Joan Cadden, a Brooklyn Park Democrat and the bill's co-sponsor. "It just makes it too easy access for teen-agers."

Store and tavern owners have lauded the proposal, but other county officials are skeptical.

Tom Riggin, chairman of the county liquor board, said yesterday that he had not yet seen the legislation. However, he added that a moratorium in a growing region seemed "unwise."

"I'm reluctant to support a moratorium," said Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, the senior lawmaker in the district. "It will just drive up the price for the remaining liquor licenses and it forces business elsewhere."

Mr. Jimeno, a Brooklyn Park Democrat, said he was not consulted by his colleagues and was surprised by the legislation.

Cliff Phelps, with the county Licensed Beverage Dealers Association, said his group wants the number of licenses restricted. But he was not optimistic that Mr. Kolodziejski's bill would pass.

"It seems like health clubs, golf clubs -- everybody wants a license and they are getting it," said Mr. Phelps, who also owns a Mountain Road package store. "They are being handed out like confetti."

The dealers association has tried for five years to draft legislation that would restrict licenses countywide, but has been unable to devise a workable mechanism, he said.

"Some parts of the county have too few licenses, other parts have too many," Mr. Phelps said.

Store owners on Fort Smallwood Road say they definitely have too many.

"I don't want to keep someone from getting a liquor license, but damn, things are hard enough already," said Lynn Farrell, owner of DJ Liquors. "If it only affects Pasadena, I'd say, 'Go for it.' "

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