Ky. lawmaker's bill to make sure liquor stores are "good neighbo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. lawmaker's bill aims to make sure liquor stores are "good neighbors"

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Whit's Center Liquors on S 15th St. Whit's Center Liquors on S 15th St.
Liquor Zone is located near Coleman and Broadway. Liquor Zone is located near Coleman and Broadway.
Reginald Meeks (D-Louisville) introduced House Bill 278, which directs a good neighbor clause towards liquor stores in Louisville's west end. Reginald Meeks (D-Louisville) introduced House Bill 278, which directs a good neighbor clause towards liquor stores in Louisville's west end.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There's a liquor store on every corner: that's a constant complaint from neighbors in west Louisville who say it's driving down their property values and driving up crime in their community. But could the answer be in Frankfort?

Liquor stores line the neighborhood streets on West Broadway, and some residents believe they're responsible for some of the problems.

Not far from residents' front doors, the community is littered in booze, loitering and the constant reminders of the crimes that happened nearby.

Representative Reginald Meeks (D-Louisville) says House Bill 278 would create a good neighbor clause throughout Kentucky.

"We're not trying to run you out of business," Meeks said. "But we are trying to ensure that your a good neighbor if you're in business in our community."

It allows cities to pinpoint "Alcohol Impact Areas" using data gathered from complaints on a business or the number of citations and arrests on a given block.

The bill is designed with west Louisville businesses in mind.

"We will work with them to resolve the problem," Meeks said. "If it's not resolved in a six-month period we can then look at taking next steps. Next step might be anything from withdrawal of license, prevention of new licenses, greater sanction."

Salah Al-Hindaway runs the Liquor Zone off Louis Coleman and Broadway. He says the bill puts blame in the wrong place.

"I never have problem here," Al-Hindaway said.

"How many people found dead in my parking lot or how many people dead in my store and the answer is zero. So when you zero crime activity in places and you go after them and leave the streets full of teens carrying weapons and having drugs in their pockets and you go after the guys doing the right thing, it's wrong."

While Al-Hindawy says there hasn't been any problem in his store, the wall just behind it tells more of the story for the neighborhood, another spray-painted memorial for the west end.

Meeks says his bill can't stop liquor stores from opening, but it can create fewer problems with the problems that already exist.

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