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Booze Sale Zone Moves On

SANTA FE, N.M. — An ordinance aimed at improving Airport Road by creating a “healthy” overlay zone cleared another hurdle Tuesday by winning approval from Santa Fe’s Business and Quality of Life Committee.

The advisory committee unanimously voted to recommend the measure be adopted by the Santa Fe City Council, which has the final vote.

City Councilors Chris Rivera and Rebecca Wurzburger, the only elected officials to sit on the body, asked to be named as co-sponsors of the ordinance. They join founding sponsor Councilor Carmichael Dominguez.

Dominguez said the ordinance is just one of several measures he plans to introduce to improve the quality of life in the Airport Road area.

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Describing his general vision, Dominguez said, “The overarching theme to that is really just helping the community.”

It’s “making sure people have adequate places to walk, to shop, to live, to recreate,” he said.

The ordinance would create an overlay zone around Airport Road that, among other things, imposes regulations on alcohol sales by regulating the density of liquor stores and alcohol advertisements to ensure the area isn’t “oversaturated,” restricting the sale of miniature liquor bottles and requiring stores to segregate alcohol sales.

The ordinance also creates a healthier “food zone” by, in part, banning new restaurant drive-throughs.

The ordinance also establishes architectural and zoning guidelines aimed at making the area more attractive and walkable, and waives or reduces permit fees to entice new businesses to build in the area.

It was approved last week by the city’s Planning Commission. Business and Quality of Life members agreed Tuesday to forward conditions suggested by that body, including eliminating a section of the ordinance that would impose restrictions on food trucks and asking the City Council to look closely at provisions on incentives and alcohol sale floor plan reviews.

Separately, the committee approved a companion resolution that directs city staff to introduce future legislation to help create a healthy food zone along Airport Road. That could mean limiting fast food restaurants from opening near schools or providing incentives to supermarkets, farmers markets and healthy restaurants to set up shop.

Dominguez said the point of the resolution is to ensure Airport Road isn’t oversaturated with unhealthy food and that residents are provided with healthier options.

Also Tuesday, the Santa Fe County Commission unanimously approved a resolution supporting the city in its efforts to adopt an overlay zone with “healthy food zones.”

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