Information for Municipalities Wanting to Assist Liquor Licensees With Moving Business Outdoors

Posted on May 21, 2020 by Dene Westbrook

To assist with the safe reopening of bars and restaurants, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) has announced a streamlined licensing process for outdoor services and additional bar permits. The MLCC has launched a new webpage with reopening guidelines, application forms and a frequently asked questions document. The FAQ document includes questions regarding local government approval and guidance on what a licensee has to do if a community closes a street to provide additional outdoor space.

In addition to the changes announced by the MLCC this week, legislation was introduced that would allow a local governing body to designate a social drinking district. House Bill 5781 would give municipalities the ability to provide a common area where approved liquor license holders could sell to patrons. If a community opts in, the legislation requires an establishment adjacent to the designated area to apply to the MLCC for a social district permit. The local governing body would have the ability to revoke the social district designation if it determines the common area threatens the health, safety, or welfare of the public, or has become a public nuisance. The League is currently reviewing the legislation, but supports the idea in concept.


Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.

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