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Bars Won't Border Campus If 'Dry Line' Is Dropped

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Bars Won’t Border Campus ‘Dry Line' Is Dropped

Ann Arbor voters will decide Monday whether the long-standing general prohibition against sale of alcoholic beverages east of Division St. will remain in the City Charter.

All registered voters can vote on the issue with a simple majority deciding it. The issue is the last of three proposals at the top of the ballot in voting booths.

If voters overturn the east-side prohibition, they will continue the changing scene regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages in Ann Arbor that was started 2 1/2 years

In November, 1960, voters approved the previous prohibited sale of liquor by the glass at the public establishments west of Division St. Private clubs had been permitted such sales before.

Last year, the City Council extended the serving deadline at public places to the 2 a.m. limit allowed by state laws.

The Division prohibition dates far back in Ann Arbor’s history. Prior to 1903 bars didn’t get a foothold east of Division because of a city-backed "gentlemen’s agreement.” Then, in 1903, an ordinance was adopted prohibiting the serving of intoxicants east of Division. This was made more permanent when it was written into the 1904 charter.

The provision was retained in the city’s new 1956 charter.

Neither the City Council nor the University has taken a position on proposal to knock out the "dry line.”

It appears that if the prohibition is eliminated, there would be new liquor licenses issued on Washtenaw Ave. in the Arborland area. Most of the State St. and S. University Ave. areas would not be affected because of state laws forbidding sale within 500 feet of a church or school. There are several churches in the State St. area.

The State Liquor Control Commission said today that University buildings are considered to be schools if a building is used for the school’s curriculum. Buildings with classrooms would be included but not buildings where equipment is repaired, for example. Other buildings, such as Hill Auditorium would have to be investigated to determine their status. The key words are "school curriculum.”

Thus, no streets immediately bordering central campus cannot acquire a bar or tavern.

Alter the voters’ by-glass action of 1960, the City Council set a limit of 38 on the number of Class C (liquor-by-glass on the premises) and tavern licenses that it would recommend. In 1960, there were 27 tavern licenses here, now there are 34 tavern and C licenses.

The 38 limit was set partly because the council wanted to proceed carefully in recommending new licenses (they are issued by the State Liquor Control Commission) and because of the possibility that the “dry line" might some day be eliminated.

Ann Arbor, is entitled to 45 licenses based on the 1960 census. A change in that limit cannot be made until 1970.

In addition, the council has sought to recommend licenses on the basis of improvement to the city. Although bars which had licenses in 1960 were able get Class C licenses (unless too close to churches or schools), new licenses have been recommended only for restaurants.

The “dry line” provision not only prevents the sale of liquor-by-the-glass east of Division but the sale of packaged liquor, beer and wine except at drug stores. If the proposal passes, the issuance of licenses for retail sale can be expected, providing the requesting establishment is not within 500 feet of a church or school.

The charter amendment, which describes the "dry zone.” appears on the ballot in this form:

“Shall the charter of the City of Ann Arbor be amended by the deletion and elimination of the following portion of Section 16.1 of said charter: 'Provided, that no person shall keep a saloon or other place except a drug store, where any spiritous, malt, brewed, fermented, vinous or intoxicating liquors are sold or kept for sale, at wholesale or at retail, in all that part of the city of Ann Arbor lying south and east of the following described line:

"Beginning on Fuller St. at the city limits of said city and running thence westerly along Fuller St. to Detroit St.; thence southwesterly along Detroit St. to Division St.; thence south on Division St. and Division St. as extended south to Stadium Blvd.; thence southeasterly along Stadium Blvd. to Iroquois Place; thence southeasterly along Iroquois PI. to Packard St.: thence, southeasterly on Packard St. to the city limits of the City of Ann Arbor”?

Voters are asked to vote “yes” or "no.”

Three grocery stores east of Division have SDM (beer and wine carry out) licenses, All three had such licenses when annexed to the city, and under city policy were allowed to keep them. They are the Kroger store of 2111 Packard St., the National Food Store of 3590 Washtenaw Ave. and the Pittsfield Food Market at 2220 Pittsfield Blvd. The Pittsfield Market also has a SDD (packaged liquor carry out) license, obtained after annexation. which the city feels it should not have recommended and which it will recommend against unless the “dry line" proposal is defeated.