MOORESTOWN – Ten years after voters approved the sale of alcoholic beverages here, residents soon could see the arrival of liquor stores.
The once-dry township has invited bids for two newly authorized licenses for use by retailers of alcoholic beverages.
The minimum bid for each license is $1 million, according to a request for proposals.
The bids are to be opened July 26.
Mayor Nicole Gillespie on Tuesday said the licenses “represent exciting new opportunities for businesses in our commercial and industrial zones, and also the possibility of giving new life to existing facilities.”
She noted council members have also amended the zoning code to allow breweries, distilleries and winery salesrooms. An ordinance allowing liquor stores asserts they will boost the commercial tax base ““by attracting retailers who are interested in selling products to the residents of the township.”
Approved locations for the liquor stores include the Moorestown Mall and a nearby Kmart shopping center, the township said in a statement Tuesday.
It said the stores would have to be 200 feet from a home or school and could not operate “in the commercial districts near Main Street and in the Lenola Town Center on Camden Avenue.” Each applicant would require township council’s approval and would face an annual fee of $2,500.
The liquor stores could operate from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, the ordinance says. The revised ordinance allows one “plenary retail distribution license” for every 7,500 residents. That compares to one consumption license for every 3,000 people.
Moorestown had about 20,500 residents in 2018, according to a Census Bureau estimate.
Breweries, distilleries and winery salesrooms could locate in the downtown shopping area and the Lenola Town Center, among other areas, the township said.
It noted the businesses could sell alcoholic products from noon to 10 p.m. daily, with live entertainment allowed on Fridays and Saturdays.
And while the businesses would not be allowed to serve food, customers may bring in food from outside restaurants, the statement noted. Voters in April 2011 approved the sale of alcoholic drinks, but only in the area of the Moorestown Mall. The revised ordinance continues to limit consumption licenses to full-service restaurants in the mall’s vicinity.
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