After a 40-minute debate on Tuesday, the Logan Municipal Council agreed to lower the code’s population requirement to allow for more liquor licensing opportunities in the city.
The 4-1 decision changed the definitions in the code from “private club liquor license” to “bar establishment license” and lowered the population requirement from 20,000 residents to 10,000, allowing for two more liquor licenses to be granted in Logan.
“The impetus in doing this,” Councilmember Jeannie Simmons said, “was to try and be a little more relational to state code.”
Initially, it was proposed to lower the population requirement to one for every 7,850 residents — or adding up to three new liquor-serving establishments, bringing the total possible bar licenses in Logan to six. But councilmembers Tom Jensen and Jess Bradfield were concerned about adding such a high number.
“More bars doesn’t make our city better,” Jensen said. “More bars doesn’t make our society better. More bars is literally potentially harmful.”
Instead, they suggested changing the population requirement to 12,500 to allow for one new license, with the potential to add more if the community expressed interest in more establishments.
Bradfield said he was concerned about “doubling the number of bars in the city, potentially overnight,” despite the fact no members on the council said they’d received any negative comments on the proposal.
In fact, Chair Amy Anderson said she’d received at least three letters in support of the ordinance, to which Bradfield countered: “four or five emails does not a majority make.”
“Let’s go in one at a time and act in prudence,” Bradfield said. “I understand the request to align with state guidelines, but that’s like the state saying all zones can be mixed-use, and us saying, ‘Let’s make all zones mixed-use because the state allows it.’ No, we wouldn’t do that. We’d say let’s make it mixed-use if it needs to be mixed-use.”
Bradfield’s population amendment failed in a 2-3 vote, and Jensen ended up siding with the majority to accept the 10,000-individual population standard. The state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is expected to open an additional four licenses, statewide, within the month.