The Baltimore City Planning Commission will vote Thursday on whether to use zoning to effectively shut down 100 of the city’s 300 liquor stores. Supposedly, it’s about crime. Not that any of the stores affected are suspected of engaging in illegal activity themselves. It’s just that the planning commission sees a correlation between their presence and crime.
Planning Commission Director Tom Stosur told WBALTV: “We think less liquor stores will mean less crime in those immediate areas, and there’s lots of statistical data to back that up.”
Okay — and not to come off like a conservative here — but what about the presumably above-board businesses already facing difficult economic decisions getting zoned out of their livelihoods?
Sure, they’re not technically being forced to close. They just have to stop selling liquor — but is the planning commission really educated enough about the business models of these shops that it can expect them to survive without liquor sales?
Oh, and did I mention it inordinately affects Korean-American owned establishments?
Stosur went on to say that they expect the code to “help grow the city and make development and investment a lot easier.” Oh, okay. It’s for development. Why didn’t you say so in the first place?