The Zoning Adjustments Board voted to declare Black & White Liquors a public nuisance Thursday after attempts at a compromise were torpedoed by state law and city code.
The liquor store at 3027 Adeline St. had been the source of numerous complaints from neighbors, who complained that alcoholic customers were committing abusive behavior, sometimes at their homes.
Attempts to solve the problem by less punitive measures foundered after the board was informed that state law and city codes precluded some of the solutions the board had seemed willing to make.
Efforts to regulate the size of liquor bottles sold were precluded by state law, said ZAB chair Chris Tiedemann, as was an attempt to impose regulations by a zoning certificate.
In the end, the board was left only with the option of voting a public nuisance finding, something Black & White owner Sucha Singh Banger had told the board he hoped to avoid.
Among the conditions imposed by the board in the finding were:
• Mandatory alcohol crime prevention classes for all store employees and the owner, to be completed within three months.
• New hours of operation, running from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
• Requiring all liquor sold to be packaged in clear plastic bags bearing the store’s name.
• Installation of new exterior lighting along Adeline and Emerson streets.
• Installation of video surveillance cameras covering the store’s exterior and retention of the resulting recordings for 90 days.
• A requirement that Banger meet with neighbors in a three-block radius from the store to form a neighborhood watch group, and to meet with neighbors on a bi-monthly basis to discuss the store’s impact on the neighborhood.
• A ban on sales to obnoxious customers, including those who loiter or drink in public or on neighbors’ properties, and those who are noisy, aggressively panhandle, litter, defecate or urinate on public or private property or commit other disturbances.
In other action, the board also voted to deny approval to a bell tower added to the Jesuit School of Theology at 1725-35 Le Roy Ave.
The tower had been constructed without a city permit, and board members and neighbors were critical of the design.
The board voted to give the seminary until May 25 to come up with a better design.