Berkeley Planning Commissioners will tackle Demon Rum Wednesday night—or, more precisely, a proposal to tighten the rules on its purveyors.
The ordinance up for consideration during the public hearing would give the city greater power to seize liquor licenses of merchants with businesses in areas where they wouldn’t be able to obtain licenses today.
Licenses of so-called non-conforming business could be seized if the liquor stores were closed for more than 90 days.
The proposed ordinances would also give citizens a power currently reserved for government by allowing them to initiate actions to declare merchants public nuisances.
The final change would give the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) greater flexibility in its capacity to rule on new license applications.
The package of measures follows a campaign to tighten liquor law enforcement initiated by the Berkeley Alcohol Policy Advocacy Coalition (BAPAC).
The City Council adopted some of the BAPAC proposals dealing with private parties in February, but zoning ordinances are referred to the Planning Commission for consideration before final council action.
The commission will also discuss recommendations for a new city ordinance governing the density bonus given to housing developers who include rental units or condos priced for tenants and buyers who might otherwise be unable to afford them.
City officials have said that the existing policies, governed only by the state density bonus law, would have allowed the proposed Berkeley Arpeggio (otherwise known as the Seagate Building) to rise to 14 stories on its planned location on Center Street opposite Berkeley City College.
The Los Angeles City Council is currently considering its own density bonus law, which is much less generous to developers than Berkeley’s current policy.
A joint subcommittee of ZAB and the Planning and Housing Advisory Commissions spent more than a year working on a draft proposal.
Wednesday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way.