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Late Night Licensing Bill on Track

After four years Councilman Bill Henry's bill, which would require stores in certain areas to have licenses to operate over night, appears likely to be passed.

A bill that would require some businesses in areas zoned for light commercial uses to purchase licenses to stay open overnight is on the verge of becoming law in Baltimore.

On Monday the City Council approved moving the bill—with some slight amendments— along to a final vote. 

Councilman Bill Henry has been to pass the legislation. The bill was initially drafted to help constituents along The Alameda who were complaining about crowds congregating at an all night convenience store and gas station.

The bill requires any businesses in areas zoned for light commercial that do not already have a liquor license governing hours of operations to purchase a license to stay open between midnight and 5 a.m. Restaurants with drive-thru windows to stay open, as long as the main dining room is closed. The few hotels and motels in areas zoned light commercial would be exempted.

At the time the bill was introduced Henry said the . Chinese Carry Out, although not in his district, were part of the reason to submit the legislation again.

Following the hearing on Monday night Henry said the bill would apply to areas such as the York Road Corridor and Alonsoville in North Baltimore. Henry pointed out that there aren't currently any businesses in Alonsoville that would be impacted.

The cost of the license, which would be renewed annually and provide communities an opportunity to protest a renewal, will be $460. The licensing would be cost neutral for the city and isn't intended to generate revenue, Henry said.

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