Takoma Park passes resolution allowing take-home wine and beer
New chapter for town settled by Seventh-day Adventists
Takoma Park restaurant patrons may soon be able to take home a bottle of wine or beer from their favorite sit-down establishments.
The Takoma Park City Council voted Monday to pass a resolution allowing restaurants to sell beer and wine for off-site consumption. However, the city still will not permit regular stores such as the Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op from selling wine and beer.
The decision ushers in a new era for the town, which was founded as a dry city in 1883 and largely settled by Seventh-day Adventists.
The resolution will now head to the Montgomery County state delegation. If the delegation supports the bill, the Maryland General Assembly will most likely also support the bill, putting it into effect, according to Suzanne Ludlow, deputy city manager. The local delegation will review the proposal during its October through December period and the general assembly will consider the bill during its mid-January through mid-April period, she said. The general assembly won't finally approve the bill until April, she said.
The city council passed the resolution 5-1, with Ward 4 Council Member Terry Seamens voting against it. The resolution includes a clause that licenses be approved only when both the city council and the Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners agree that the license should be issued.
The council decided to move forward with just the Class B license which requires a business to provide bathrooms for both sexes and minimum seating for 30 people and will potentially look into allowing other licenses in future years.
Initially, the resolution included a Class D license, which allows businesses to sell wine and beer for take-away and allows people to consume it on-site. This license does not require a seating minimum, but the establishment must provide bathrooms for both sexes, according to the Department of Liquor Control. After deliberating the pros and cons of the Class D license, council members decided to strike the option from the resolution. The Board of License Commissioners does not particularly like Class D licenses because they have very few controls, Ludlow said.
Ward 6 Council Member Fred Schultz suggested supporting only the Class B license and to later give consideration to other types of licenses during the next legislative session in January.
"I'd hate to adopt, say, a Class D here, and in 12 months from now come back and say we don't want it," Schultz said.
Ward 2 Council Member Colleen Clay agreed.
"I would support just [Class] B at this time so we could move forward and wait and see what shakes out with the other county licenses," she said.