You'd think prohibition was back in Layton.
First, on Feb. 23 the Joint Executive Appropriation Committee of the State Legislature halted the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control's plans to build a new state liquor store at 1750 W. Antelope Drive. The committee argued the store was too close to Davis Hospital and Medical Center.Now, the Layton City Council and two longtime city businesses are opposing the latest proposed site for the liquor store, in Olsen Plaza near 600 West and 600 North.
At the city's March 5 council meeting, Spencer Young, owner of Young Chevrolet, argued that 600 North is not a suitable location.
"It's already a congested street," he said.
Young said there are some serious safety issues for such an intensive business to be located just west of the Fran Brown & Company College of Beauty & Career Center.
Young said cars are normally parked along both sides of the street during the day. Lacking a traffic signal at Main Street, access northward from 600 North is also almost impossible now, he said.
Fran Brown argued that her school is accredited, and since it also serves some released-time area high school students, no liquor store should be located next door.
Layton City Attorney Gary Crane said the Brown school is classed as a trade school and doesn't appear to meet the state definition of a school in regards to liquor store locations.
He also said that Beverage Control is simply looking to locate in the area, which the City Council suggested was acceptable during 1997 meetings with city leaders.
But now council members have changed their tune. "I would stay away from that area," Councilman Steve Curtis said.
Councilwoman Debra Ledkins agreed.
"There's not a light there (at Main Street), and that worries me," she said.
City leaders plan on contacting the state to discuss their reservations about the latest site proposal.
The current 3,500-square-foot state liquor store at 1241 N. Main is too small. The proposed new building would be 6,000 square feet.
Crane said the state is required to consult with the city on liquor store locations but can pretty much do what it wants in the end as long as it meets zoning regulations. And 600 North is suitably zoned.
The second Layton site preference for Beverage Control would be a piece of vacant land located between Stimpson's Market and the VFW Post, near 1400 N. Main Street. The City Council favors that location over 600 North.
However, to build on that site, the state would have to deed the north side of the property to the city and install a road into the Holt subdivision, officially extending Laytona Drive to Main Street.
Not only would that road cost the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control more, but it would reduce its available land.
For more than three decades, the south side of the Stimpson's Market parking lot has been used as an unofficial extension of Laytona Drive.