Bill allowing multiple liquor licenses for Arundel franchises gains approval


A multiple liquor license bill for Anne Arundel County passed final muster yesterday in the closing hours of the 2000 General Assembly.

The measure, if signed by the governor, will allow franchise restaurants in Anne Arundel County to obtain a second license, or the independent owners of franchise-name business to obtain a license under another corporate name for expansion into designated areas.

The bill's final version won unanimous approval in the House of Delegates -- courtesy for a local measure endorsed by the Anne Arundel delegation. Del. John R. Leopold, a Pasadena Republican who was lead sponsor, said it will help the county's economy and protect individual restaurant owners at the same time.

"This bill is a compromise between recognizing the needs of small businesses and recognizing the need to expand our economic horizons," Leopold said.

It will allow the holder of any retail alcoholic beverages license or franchise restaurants such as Applebee's or Ledo's to get a second Class-H license for beer, wine and liquor, for a restaurant in an area targeted for development.

Designated areas include the Baltimore-Washington International Airport business district; Arundel Mills, Marley Station and Annapolis malls; the Village at Waugh Chapel; Glen Burnie, Odenton and Parole town centers; and the Maryland City area along Route 198 between Route 32 and the Prince George's County border.

Among other provisions, the bill limits the number of new licenses granted to 30 and calls on the liquor board to report on the measure's impact within six years.

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